Until yesterday when their Italian manager declared: "Van Persie? No, I don't think he will come here."
Roberto Mancini has not exactly proved to be Mystic Meg over the past 12 months - So as far as we are concerned this is very much a sign that the move could in fact be on.
Here's a look at why the manager cannot be entirely taken at his word...
September 2011 on Carlos Tevez, "If I have my way he will be out of the club.''
April 2012 on Mario Balotelli, "I really hope that he can change his behaviour in the future. He will probably not play in the next six games."
And most famously in April 2012 on the Premier League title, "It is finished, five points is too much. United have got fantastic spirit. We don't have this spirit."
We all know what happened, Mancini went onto bring back both Tevez and Balotelli who played crucial roles in helping City win the Premier League title.
He is becoming a master of mind games, whether it be his players, the opposition, or even his own board.
When Mancini talks the world listens, but behind his words on Van Persie lie a real frustration at his club's inability to shift unwanted strikers Adebayor and Santa Cruz from their books.
This looks like being another clever ploy to apply pressure to the City hierarchy to release the funds for Van Persie's transfer, and while Arsenal's signing of Cazorla may sway him into changing his mind, don't be at all surprised if City weigh in with a bid over the next fortnight.
Do you entirely believe Mancini's denials?
image: © Mafue