-Photo by Reuters

BEIJING: Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini said on Thursday he was not in charge of transfers, after British media reported club officials were blocking his attempts to sign Arsenal captain Robin van Persie.

Asked at a press conference in Beijing whether he was disappointed with his lack of progress in the transfer market, Mancini said: “For this question, you need to talk to the man in charge. I am not in charge of these things.”

Mancini was speaking to reporters ahead of his side's all-Premier League pre-season friendly with Arsenal on Friday.

Pressed further on why he was not taking charge of transfer matters, he said: “I am not the man in charge of this. We have a man that works for this and... I think that we are hoping that they can do a good job.”

British media reports suggest that bosses at City are attempting to scale back the club's huge squad, ahead of new rules to be introduced by European football's governing body in the next two years.

The English Premier League champions are owned by Sheikh Mansour, a member of Abu Dhabi's ruling Al-Nahyan family, and are one of the richest clubs in the world.

Mancini may be forced to sell another striker to balance the club's bulging wage bill before he can move for Van Persie, reports in Britain claim.

Van Persie has told Arsenal he will not be extending his contract with the north London club past the end of the forthcoming season.

Mancini refused to say if he was any nearer signing the player, but said he was one of the Dutch striker's admirers.

“It is difficult to say this at this moment because Van Persie is an Arsenal player and he is not our player,” Mancini said.

“We know that Van Persie is a fantastic striker, but we have four strikers and with these strikers we won the Championship last year.

“But still, Van Persie is a top player. We can say different things about this - but he is an Arsenal player.”

City have announced that captain Vincent Kompany has signed a new six-year contract with the club.

The Manchester side face Arsenal on Friday in Beijing's Bird's Nest Stadium – the main venue for the 2008 Olympics.

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