Former Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has spoken about the possibility of one day returning to the club where he delivered a first ever Premier League title.
Mancini, speaking to Sky Sports News HQ, revealed he still has the blue and white scarf he infamously wore on the touchline during his City reign and insisted: "It’s clear Manchester City are in my heart."
The Italian is currently in his second spell in charge of Inter Milan but suggested that a return to England could be on the cards one day.
Manchester City fans would likely welcome back their former manager, having developed a bond with the now 50-year-old during his three and a half year spell in charge.
Such was the mutual respect between manager and fans, Mancini took out a full page spread in the local newspaper, The Manchester Evening News, to acknowledge the club's supporters and say his goodbyes.
The gesture was so well received that City fans dug in to their own pocket to fund an advert in Italian paper Gazzetta dello Sport thanking their former boss for his efforts during his tenure.
Never say never
Current City boss Manuel Pellegrini currently has over a year left on his existing deal and is unlikely to be shown the door even if he fails to deliver a trophy this season.
While that means Mancini will have to be patient in his hopes to one day return to his former club, his return to Inter Milan has shown him that you can't rule out returning to a former home.
He told Sky Sports: "Before now I never thought I could come back to Inter. I would like to come back to England because the football is fantastic football, maybe in the future it is possible.”
Mancini's team still in tact
When some managers leave a club, their replacement will look to ship out large chunks of the existing squad and bring in his own men.
That's not the case at City, with a number of Pellegrini's most important players being Mancini signings.
The Italian recognises that his team is largely still in place, but showed his appreciation for the man who replaced him.
"Now they play with the same team, the important players are the same, but in the last few years they bought three, four or five players and they improved as a team for sure," he said.
"I think Pellegrini is a good manager, but every year you can improve."
City v Chelsea
Mancini was speaking ahead of Saturday's crunch clash between his former side and Chelsea, and delivered the following verdict on the fixture.
"My opinion is Manchester City is the best team in the Premier League but Chelsea are strong because they have very good players.
“Mourinho is a good manager and he has got them a winning mentality. I think that
will be an important game.
"If City wins, the championship is really open. If City lose, it’s difficult. My opinion is City is the better team.”