Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has told Roberto Mancini: Robin van Persie was never going to Manchester City. Mancini reckons the striker's 19 Premier League goals this term are the major reason why the title is heading back to Old Trafford.

But when quizzed over whether City would have been stronger with Van Persie, Ferguson insisted: "It's hypothetical, he was never going to City.

"He's been fantastic for us, a really good footballer.

"We needed a bit of maturity up front and he's been terrific.

"The improvement is not just through Robin but even when he doesn't score he's a fantastic footballer."