Roberto Mancini came close to leaving Manchester City

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini says he had a number of opportunities to leave the club last season before signing a new five-year contract.

Although he did not name specific clubs, Mancini was answering a question about reports he almost joined French league club Monaco  in the summer.

"Last year I was very close with seven or eight teams but I prefer to stay here," he said.

Mancini in management

  • 2000: Retires from playing and becomes Sven-Goran Eriksson's assistant at Lazio
  • 2001: Takes over at Fiorentina, leading them to Coppa Italia success
  • January 2002: Resigns as Fiorentina boss with the club second-bottom of Serie A
  • May 2002: Becomes Lazio boss
  • 2004: Lazio win Coppa Italia
  • July 2004: Takes over at Inter Milan
  • 2005: Inter win Coppa Italia and Italian Supercup
  • 2006: Inter are awarded Serie A title when Juventus and AC Milan are punished in match-fixing scandal
  • 2007: Inter successfully defend Scudetto
  • 2008: Inter win third consecutive title but lose Coppa Italia final and Mancini is sacked
  • December 2009: Mancini replaces Mark Hughes at Manchester City
  • 2011: City win FA Cup - their first silverware for 35 years
  • 2012: City win their first top-flight title for 44 years by pipping rivals Manchester United on goal difference

"It is a fantastic situation. Now, we have time to improve and build a team."

Mancini, 47, is City's most successful modern-day manager, leading the club to their first league title in 44 years in May - 12 months after ending a 35-year trophy drought with an FA Cup final victory over Stoke.

He replaced Mark Hughes as the Blues' manager in December 2009, having previously managed Fiorentina, Lazio and Inter Milan, where he won three successive Italian League titles and two Italian Cups before being dismissed in May 2008.

"I have worked well here for three years," said Mancini. "If someone thinks we didn't do a good job - we won three trophies [City also won Community Shield in 2012] in two years. I am very happy we worked well.

"I signed a contract for the next five years because I believe in this squad, because I can work with serious people like the owner and the chairman.

"To work with these people is fantastic. In football it is difficult to find people who work well with the manager.

"Now, the next three or four years will be very important for us."

Mancini is also pleased with the new off-field set-up above him, after former Barcelona technical director Txiki Begiristain was appointed as director of football.

The 48-year-old will oversee player recruitment, previously the remit of football administrator Brian Marwood who has now moved to a new role as managing director of the club's football academy.

Mancini publicly expressed his frustrations at City's transfer policy during the summer transfer window.

"I am very happy," said Mancini. "He [Begiristain] has a lot of experience with a top club like Barca.

"If we did well in the last two years, I think we can do better in the future.

"It is very important for this reason. He worked with Barca and won everything with this club.

"He built a fantastic team with Barca and for this reason I think, for us, he will be very important."