Mancini's United admission
City boss insists United are favourites for title
By Pete O'Rourke - Follow me: @skysportspeteo. Last Updated: August 18, 2012 11:33am
Roberto Mancini: Believes rivals United have the best strikeforce in world football
Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini believes Manchester United have the best strikeforce in world football following the signing of Robin van Persie.
United completed the signing of Dutchman van Persie on Friday on a four-year deal from Arsenal after a protracted chase.
Van Persie joins a forward line that already includes Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez, and which as far as Mancini is concerned, is unparalleled at the moment.
"I think it is the best four strikers in the world," Mancini - who has the considerably potent striking quartet of Sergio Aguero, Carlos Tevez, Mario Balotelli and Edin Dzeko at his own disposal - said.
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"Last year our four strikers did better than other strikers, but we need to work harder than last year because this year United, with Van Persie, are better."
Mancini had labelled Sir Alex Ferguson's men as favourites to win the title this term and asked if it was even more so the case that United should have the favourites tag with Van Persie among their ranks, Mancini said: "Yes, for sure, and I was serious when I said this last week because United have played for the title always, every year for 20 years.
"Although we won the last championship, we can't change this in one year.
"For this reason, I think they are favourites for the title, and now they have Van Persie."
Questions have been raised over the reported £24million fee for Van Persie, who is 29 and has suffered with injury problems in the past, but Mancini is in no doubt that United are better off for having the Holland striker.
"Although we won the last championship, we can't change this in one year.For this reason, I think they are favourites for the title, and now they have Van Persie.
Roberto Mancini on the title race Quotes of the week
He said: "I think Van Persie is one of the best strikers in the world. I am sure they are better with him. Anybody who bought him would be better."
It was felt Mancini wanted to sign Van Persie himself, although he claims it was not a realistic possibility.
"I felt he was going to stay at Arsenal or sign for another team, but not us," he said.
"We already have four strikers. It was impossible for us to sign another one."