Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has revealed how close the club came to securing the services of Robin van Persie before the striker made a move to Manchester United.
Sir Alex Ferguson wrapped up a deal in the off-season that saw Van Persie join the Red Devils from Arsenal for a fee of £24 million.
Mancini bemoaned City’s failure to tie up a deal for a player he claims that his club approached months before United managed to agree terms for the Dutchman.
"We were very close. He took his decision but three or four months before we were (close to signing him)," said the Italian.
Defending Premier League champions, City, currently trail rivals United by seven points and fell to a Van Persie winner when the two sides met at the Etihad stadium.
The 29-year-old has scored 14 Premier League goals this campaign which has been worth 19 points for United and Mancini believes that the former Gunner has given his rivals the edge.
"It is clear he has changed the situation. In this moment, he is the difference. Last year we were the team that scored the most goals in the Premier League and I am very happy,” Mancini said.
“But we wanted Van Persie because he is totally different from our other strikers. When you can improve your team with top players it is important.
“With Van Persie we could also play with three strikers sometimes. But now we can do nothing."