Man City legend Marsh: Missing out on Van Persie cost Mancini

Former Manchester City star Rodney Marsh reckons Roberto Mancini paid the price for failing to sign Robin van Persie

robin van persie
Robin van Persie has scored 25 Premier League goals this season Photo: Back Page Images

Roberto Mancini paid the price for failing to sign Robin van Persie last summer, according to former Manchester City striker Rodney Marsh.

The Italian was sacked on Monday after three-and-a-half years in charge of the Eastlands outfit and exactly a year after leading the club to their first league title in 44 years.

Van Persie scored 25 goals as he helped Manchester United take back their Premier League crown from City in style after a £24m switch to Old Trafford last August.

And Marsh believes Mancini would have led the club to back-to-back top-flight titles if Van Persie had joined the Citizens rather than United.

“I think if Robin van Persie had signed for Manchester City, they would have won the title,” Marsh told talkSPORT.

“Manchester City were offering a king’s ransom to Robin van Persie and he turned down City’s money to go to Manchester United. I think that was an enormous swing in the power [struggle].”

Marsh believes Jose Mourinho should be City’s first choice to replace Mancini – and not bookies favourite Manuel Pellegrini.

“I wouldn’t have sacked Mancini. I’m a big fan of his,” added the former City star.

“The only one I would sack Mancini for is Jose Mourinho. In my personal opinion, Jose Mourinho is the best manager in the world.

“The thing that has killed Mancini is Europe. In two years in Europe they have been terrible. I think the owners are so desperate for success at the highest level that they are prepared to spend fortunes on getting in whoever they think is going to win them the Champions League.”

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