Roberto Mancini will renew his interest in Robin van Persie during the January transfer window, having previously tried to sign him for Manchester City.
When the Holland international made the decision to quit Arsenal at the end of his contract in 2012, he soon became embroiled in a two-way fight for his signature between Manchester City and Manchester United. He eventually rejected the riches of the Etihad Stadium club in favour of a switch to Old Trafford, where he was eager to link up with manager Sir Alex Ferguson.
And this proved to be a shrewd move as he enjoyed a hugely successful debut season for the Reds, scoring 26 times as they won a record-extending 20th league title. However, van Persie was left stunned when Ferguson announced he would be retiring at the end of that campaign, a decision which is said to have affected the 31-year-old striker more than any of his colleagues.
Although he has shown glimpses of his brilliance since then, the former Feyenoord youngster has struggled to find anything like his best form. Although both have denied it, it was widely reported that he clashed with David Moyes last season, and despite the introduction of his compatriot Louis van Gaal in the dugout, his performances this term have been well below standard.
Indeed, van Gaal admitted that van Persie had ‘a very bad game’ during the 2-1 win at Arsenal last weekend, and his place for the visit of Hull City on Saturday afternoon is in serious doubt. Looking further ahead, he will be down to the last 18 months of his contract in the New Year, and reports in Italy claim Mancini will look to add him to his Internazionale squad.
The former City coach is looking for additional firepower as he aims to secure a top-three Serie A finish for the Nerazzurri, which would return them to the UEFA Champions League next season. They are currently five points adrift of Rafael Benitez’s Napoli, and they may struggle to close this gap over the course of the weekend as they travel to second-place Roma on Sunday.
The need for Mancini to land a new striker could be increased if reports linking Mauro Icardi with a move away from the San Siro are true. The 21-year-old Argentine, who has scored seven times this term, has been a huge success since his £10million move from Sampdoria in 2012, and it has been claimed that Tottenham Hotspur are willing to pay £28million for his signature.
If van Persie is recruited to replace, or possibly even partner, Icardi, he would link up with his former Manchester United pal Nemanja Vidic. However, he would also miss out on a £2.5million loyalty bonus, which was promised to him if he sees out the three-year contract he agreed when he signed for the Old Trafford club in a £20million deal back in the summer of 2012.
Is it time for van Persie to leave United, and would he be a success in Italy? Let us know what you think by joining in with the discussion below.