LONDON: Manchester City have quashed any further talk of a Russian bid for Roberto Mancini by agreeing a five-year contract extension with the manager who guided them to the league championship for the first time in 44 years.

Mancini, 47, replaced Mark Hughes as City boss in December 2009, guiding them to the FA Cup in 2011. A year later, City secured their first league title since 1968.

He had been linked with the Russia national team role – for the second time in his career – after their first-round exit from Euro 2012. Dick Advocaat had already decided to move on to PSV Eindhoven.

Mancini, commenting on the contract agreement, said: “Manchester City is a fantastic football club and I am very much looking forward to the challenges and excitement ahead.

“I am delighted to be able to give all of my efforts to Manchester City for a further five years. The opportunity which exists to build on our recent success is enormous.”

Mancini brought the Premier League crown to the Etihad Stadium on a dramatic final day of the season when Sergio Aguero’s injury-time strike snatched a 3-2 win over QPR and secured the championship on goal difference over rivals Manchester United.

City begin their defence of the title at home to Southampton on August 19 when Mancini will also be preparing for a second Champions League campaign. Last season they finished third in a group containing eventual finalists Bayern Munich, dropped into the Europa League and were eliminated almost immediately.

City’s interim chief executive John MacBeath said: “This allows Roberto to focus on the challenge of guiding a team which is capable not only of defending the Premier League title but one which can compete for European honours.”


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