Ibrahimovic joined AC Milan initially on loan with a view to a permanent move last week after an unhappy spell at Barcelona.
City were reported to be interested in signing the Sweden international after Barcelona made it clear they were willing to offload the skilful attacker.
However, Ibrahimovic has hinted he rejected a move to Eastlands with Roberto Mancini's side still in the early stages of their development.
"City must fight Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal - sides which took years to build," said Ibrahimovic.
"City are still a side for the future. I chose Milan because they are a team that can win prizes now.
"City can wait for the future but I can't."
Ibrahimovic says he had no choice but to leave Barcelona after falling out of favour with coach Pep Guardiola.
"The problems began in March. I asked for an explanation, but he did not give it to me," added Ibrahimovic.
"I couldn't take it. I had no choice but to find a new place of work and I was lucky to go to a club like Milan.
"I will soon be 29 years old and cannot afford to lose a year sitting on the bench and watching the weather. I saw what happened last season with Thierry Henry."