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Italian rewarded for guiding the club to the promised land of Europe's elite competition for the first time

EXCLUSIVE
By Greg Stobart | Northern Correspondent

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has been awarded a £1 million bonus for guiding the club to the Champions League.

City secured their place in Europe's elite competition for the first time with a 1-0 win over Tottenham last Tuesday and will now finish no lower than fourth in the Premier League. Victory over Stoke tonight will see Mancini's side leapfrog Arsenal into third place with one game left to play.

Sheikh Mansour, the club's Abu Dhabi owner, made a top-four finish the minimum requirement at the start of the season and has spent more than £350m on signing players since buying the club in August 2009.

Mancini was offered the incentive of an additional £1m bonus on top of his £3m-a-year salary if he could steer City to the Champions League and he is now set to cash in, while the Italian will be in line for a further bonus after guiding the club to their first trophy in 35 years with the FA Cup final triumph over Stoke City on Saturday.

Mancini, 46, took over at the City of Manchester Stadium in December 2009 following the sacking of Mark Hughes, and led the club to a fifth-placed finish last season before finding himself under pressure after a poor run of results earlier this season.

But he now has the backing of the billionaire owners and chief executive Garry Cook – who will back him in the summer to pursue targets who can help the club challenge on all fronts in the next campaign.

“If you have not won anything for a long time and you don't buy good players you can't win. It is impossible,” Mancini said at the weekend.

“You can have the best manager in the world, a magician on the bench, but if you don't buy then all the clubs who have bought good players are going to win.

“Tottenham played in the Champions League until the quarter-final and in the Premier League they are outside the top four.

“It is difficult if you don't have a big squad so you can change six or seven players for every game. We lost many points between February and March.

“We played every three days in the Europa League, Barclays League, the FA Cup. We weren't used to doing this.”

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