Roberto Mancini is flattered to be linked with the managerial vacancy at Sunderland and admits he would like to manage in the Barclays Premier League.
Mancini has been out of work since a successful four-year spell with Inter Milan came to an end 12 months ago.
"I am very flattered to be linked with the vacant manager's job at Sunderland," said the Italian in a statement given to Sky Sports News. "It would be an honour to manage such a prestigious and historic club in the Premier League.
"I have enjoyed a year out following winning the Scudetto on three consecutive occasions. Having completed a year of media commitments I'm now ready to return to full-time management.
"Ideally I would like that to be in the Premier League. I want to test myself against the very best."
Mancini was linked with the Black Cats following Roy Keane's departure last December, with some reports claiming his wage demands prevented him from getting the job which eventually went to Ricky Sbragia.