By FRANCO PANIZO
Arsenal are one step closer to making sure Robin van Persie sticks around for at least this upcoming season, as one of his more attractive suitors has apparently pulled out of the race to sign him.
Manchester City head coach Roberto Mancini told reporters he does not expect van Persie to sign with the club for the upcoming season. The Dutch international had been heavily linked with a move to City in recent weeks, but him joining the reigning Premier League champs now seems as unlikely as ever.
Van Persie has been keen on securing a move to a club fighting for domestic and international trophies. Juventus and Manchester United are other teams he is linked with, but Arsenal have made no secret of wanting to keep the striker who scored 36 goals last season.
Here are more stories to help get your day going:
REAL MADRID TOPS GOMEZ, SANTOS LAGUNA
Santos Laguna's match with Real Madrid in Las Vegas was a homecoming for U.S. men's national team striker Herculez Gomez, but one that did not end positively for him and his club. Thanks to goals from Xabi Alonso and Sami Khedira on each side of halftime, Real Madrid defeated Santos Laguna, 2-1, on Sunday night in front of a crowd of 29,152 fans. Cristian Suarez scored the equalizing goal for Santos in the first half after Alonso opened the scoring, but Khedira found the back of the net in the 72nd minute to give the Spanish club the win.
VIDIC RETURNS FOR MAN UTD
After an eight-month absence, Nemanja Vidic has returned for Manchester United. The Serbian international completed his recovery from injury on Sunday, playing 60 minutes in United's scoreless draw with Norwegian club Valerenga. The preseason game was Vidic's first since suffering a knee injury last December.
CARDIFF CLOSING IN ON BELLAMY
Liverpool may not be willing to part ways with Craig Bellamy, but that is not stopping Cardiff City from trying to acquire him. Cardiff are reportedly keen on acquiring Bellamy for the upcoming season, having had him on a season-long loan during the 2010-2011 season. Bellamy just finished playing for Great Britain in the Olympics, and he was one of the more solid contributors for that side.
What do you think of van Persie being unlikely to sign with Man City? Impressed with Real Madrid's 2-1 win over Santos? Think Vidic is in store for a big year with Manchester United?
Share your thoughts below.