£50m man Van Persie

Wenger fury as City kick off bidding war

ROBERTO MANCINI has kicked off a massive bidding war and left Arsene Wenger fuming with a thinly disguised opening offer for £50m hitman Robin Van Persie.

Wenger has already watched Samir Nasri, Gael Clichy, Kolo Toure and Emmanuel Adebayor give in to the lure of big money at Eastlands and can only grit his teeth and watch while Mancini dangles a fortune in front of the Dutchman.

“We are interested in all good players. This is normal, but not only us. I think all the good teams are interested in Van Persie,” said Mancini, who believes that the 28-year-old could be prised loose for £30m

“This is normal because if, for example, you wanted to buy Cavani, he would cost maybe £30m. He is Arsenal's best player at the moment and it is difficult for them to give him to another club.”

Arsenal agreed a £10.9m fee with Cologne for Lukas Podolski yesterday and Wenger will hope that the addition of fresh talent to his decimated squad will convince Van Persie to sign a new deal.