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Mancini loses cool, demands 'respect'

MANCHESTER, England (AP) -- Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini lost his temper Monday after further questions about his links with Monaco, and said he deserves more respect for ending the club's long search for silverware.

Mancini hasn't disputed reports he held talks with the French club in the offseason, saying last week that he was "very close with seven or eight teams.''

Questions persisted Monday about the nature of the discussions, leading to Mancini banging his hand on the table at a news conference and say: "We won three trophies in two years (at City) - I think you should have respect for this, for me, for the club, for the players.''

City won the English league title in May for the first time in 44 years and captured the FA Cup in 2011 and Community Shield in August. But Mancini's future remains a subject of debate - particularly after the club's eye-opening appointments of two officials key to Barcelona's rise to greatness in recent years.

After appointing Ferran Soriano as chief executive in August, City last month hired Txiki Begiristain as director of football, with his tenure starting Monday.

Begiristain was the man who oversaw the appointment of Pep Guardiola as Barca coach in 2008, a move that transformed the fortunes of the Spanish side. Guardiola, who is currently on a break from football after leaving Barca in the offseason, could become a natural replacement for Mancini should the Italian depart.

Mancini signed a five-year contract extension in the offseason but City has lost its spark at the start of this campaign, sitting third in the Premier League after 10 games and bottom of its Champions League group.

The links with Monaco, first reported on Friday, hasn't helped his situation.

"Why do you continue to ask me, `Last year you had a chance to go?''' Mancini said Monday. "I stay here because my work is here. I worked for two years. I built with the chairman and the owner, this team.

"We won three trophies in two years. For 50 years we didn't win. Never.''

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