Roberto Mancini said he would walk away from Manchester City if he went two or three years without winning a trophy.
And the Italian believes it is "impossible" he will complete a decade's service at the Etihad Stadium, arguing that if he continues to be successful he would want a new challenge.
Mancini has won the Premier League, the FA Cup and the Community Shield and has a contract until 2017 but insisted he would be willing to rip it up if he does not bring more silverware to the Etihad Stadium.
He said: "I think it is important for every club to have stability. If you change the manager every one or two years, it's difficult. But if I didn't win for two or three years, I would say to the club: 'I don't want to stay'.
"Because after two or three years of not winning, I would leave. I couldn't continue to stay here. It would be impossible for my mind to think this."
Whereas Sir Alex Ferguson is in his 27th year at Old Trafford, Mancini, who joined City in December 2009, does not expect to last anything like as long.
He added: "I don't think I can stay here 10 years, it's impossible for me. But I think that in four or five years, to try to win the Premier League and Champions League, I think this is possible."
Speculation has surrounded Mancini's position with reports in Chile - thought to be lacking in foundation - that Malaga manager Manuel Pellegrini has been lined up as his replacement.
Mancini said he has not discussed his position with chief executive Ferran Soriano who, like sporting director Txiki Begiristain, has been appointed since he signed his new deal.
He added: "This hasn't changed because me, Ferran and Txiki work for the same club. I have my position, Ferran has his position and Txiki has his."
But the former Inter Milan manager again praised his employers, City chairman Khaldoon al Mubarak and owner Sheikh Mansour.
He said: "I have a good relationship with Khaldoon and I don't have any problems with him, he's a really good man. I have never found a man like Khaldoon in football, the same for Sheikh Mansour."
Mancini has not conceded defeat in the title race but, with City 12 points behind Manchester United, he accepts that failure to beat Chelsea on Sunday would end their chances.
"Yeah," he said, before outlining his belief that it will take time to develop a club like United.
"Eight months ago we won the Premier League. Six months ago we won the Community Shield. Now we have another two chances. Maybe the Premier League will be difficult, but we have the FA Cup. Hopefully, if we can take second place, that would not be a bad season, like United last year.
"It's impossible that in two years we can be like United, who built their teams over 20 to 25 years. This is history. This is impossible. To build a team like United or Barcelona you need five, six, seven or eight years."