Mancini 'had seven or eight offers to leave'

Manager Roberto Mancini has set his sights on an important three years with Manchester City after disclosing that he had several offers to move elsewhere at the end of last season.

The Italian, who led City to their first championship for 44 years last season, signed a five-year contract in July and intends to cement City as the premier force in England.

"Last year I was very close with seven or eight teams but I prefer to stay here," former Inter Milan manager Mancini told reporters on Friday, reacting to reports that French club Monaco had sought his services.

"It is a fantastic situation. Now, we have time to improve and build a team," added Mancini who replaced Mark Hughes in December 2009.

"I have worked well here for three years," he said. "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, who has come under fire for his side's woeful form in this season's Champions League in which they have managed just one point from their first three games, said he was happy with the appointment of former Barcelona technical director Txiki Begiristain as director of football.

"I am very happy," said Mancini. "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.

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