Roberto Mancini has revealed that Sven-Goran Eriksson tried to persuade him to become the manager of Notts County last season.
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The Manchester City boss confirmed the approach after Tuesday night's 4-2 FA Cup triumph over Eriksson's Leicester side which booked a fourth round trip to Meadow Lane.
Eriksson called his former protege Mancini, who was out of work at the time, to discuss a position at County, whose own financial state had not yet begun to unravel.
"He tried to get me to manage Notts County,'' Mancini said. "We spoke about it one or two times but then we finished. When we spoke, it was a good situation. Afterwards it wasn't, so I am happy to be here now.''
Little wonder. Mancini was able to name the most expensive starting line-up in FA Cup history at Eastlands, although it took an impressive late strike from Aleksandar Kolarov to see off their Championship opponents.
Paul Gallagher had already equalised an early Carlos Tevez effort when Leicester were forced to battle back from two goals down as Patrick Vieira and Adam Johnson scored within 77 seconds of each other. The visitors took heart from a Tevez penalty miss and when Lloyd Dyer netted eight minutes from time, the Foxes harboured realistic hopes of taking the tie to extra-time. It was not to be, leaving Eriksson to offer a very positive assessment of his old club.
"I am sure they are one of the teams who can win the league,'' former England boss Eriksson said. I hope they can win the FA Cup. It would be good for us to have gone out against the winners.
"What is happening at City does remind me of my time at Lazio. At that time we bought Christian Vieri for the biggest transfer fee paid. We sold him 10 months later for even more money. Lazio were spending a lot of money. It was a beautiful time. We won the league and overall won seven titles in three years. It was very good because in Italy, if you win the league and you are not Milan, Inter or Juventus, it is a very big thing.''
Not that Eriksson is displeased with his situation at Leicester, who he feels have the capability to get back to the Premier League within the next two seasons.
"We are not Manchester City but it is a clear project to take the club up to the Premier League,'' Eriksson said. "I am very happy with that. It is very good to be at a club where the owners are good. You can feel that everyone believes in it and hopes the club go up to the Premier League. And we will. Hopefully this season. If not this one, then next.''
Not that Thierry Henry will be playing any part, despite rumours of a Leicester approach.
"It is not true I made an inquiry about him,'' Eriksson added. "Sometimes you get these rumours and there is a little bit of truth. This time, no. I asked the manager of New York Red Bulls - Hans Bakke - before Christmas if he had some good players he wanted to give me on loan for two months. He said no. That was it. I have not spoken to Thierry or his agent.''
Eriksson conducted part of his post-match press conference in the company of Mancini, a man he has known for two decades. The City manager's relationship with Notts County boss Paul Ince is not quite the same given he was sent off for lunging at the former England skipper during a Serie A encounter between Sampdoria and Inter Milan in 1995.
"I played against Paul Ince. Maybe I got sent off,'' Mancini said. "It was against Inter but I don't remember whether it was Paul Ince.''