Asmir Begovic has confirmed that Roberto Mancini tried to sign him at Manchester City last season.
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The Bosnia international goalkeeper was being lined up as a potential replacement for Joe Hart in a deal which was referred to by Mancini's former assistant David Platt in an interview earlier this season.
The deal would have undermined the position of England No. 1 Hart and now Begovic has admitted that the deal was being pushed by Mancini and only collapsed when he was sacked at the Etihad in the summer.
Begovic is quoted in Bosnia's leading daily newspaper confirming that a deal was possible, just days after Stoke chairman Peter Coates admitted it would be difficult to keep the goalkeeper if big clubs come calling again.
"As players we are the last to find out things, probably our agents and club officials find out first without talking to us, then at the latter stage of negotiations they will tell us," Begovic is quoted as saying.
"As for Manchester City, when Mancini was on the bench, we were very close to an agreement. The transfer was not realised due to several reasons, but the main one was the departure of the Italian manager."
Stoke manager Mark Hughes knows it will be difficult to keep Begovic beyond the end of the current season, especially if the 26-year-old enjoys an impressive World Cup, but Begovic has no intentions of trying to force a move in January.
Whether City retain an interest under new coach Manuel Pellegrini remains to be seen, while Chelsea, Barcelona and Arsenal are all know admirers of the former Portsmouth keeper, but Begovic doesn't want to risk his World Cup prospects next summer by sitting on the bench anywhere during the second half of the current campaign.
"Could I still move to City? I really don't know if negotiations between clubs are still ongoing, but for me probably the best thing would be to stay at Stoke City until the end of the season as in that way I would be truly ready for World Cup in Brazil," he said.