The former Arsenal midfielder scored two headers to put City well on their way to a 5-0 FA Cup fourth round replay victory over Notts County at Eastlands on Sunday. Mancini has used the 34-year-old mainly in cup competitions and the Europa League this term but that does not mean he does not value the former France international, who doubled his tally of goals for the season.
"If we find a player like Patrick for our future it would be fantastic as he was one of the best midfielders in the world for a long time," said Mancini, whose side will face Aston Villa at home in a delayed fifth-round tie with the prize of a home quarter-final against Everton or Reading at stake.
"He knows the position and it is important that when he plays he plays well. It is because of that kind of professionalism that I say we want to find another Patrick.
"He has won everything and is a good player, but it's not easy for a player like him to play a lot because of his body. He is 34 now and the time goes for everyone. Time passes for all players.
Club captain Carlos Tevez, Edin Dzeko and Micah Richards chipped in with goals in the final six minutes, but the result was harsh on County, who dominated the opening half-hour and could have been ahead had Karl Hawley's shot not rebounded back off the post.
Despite the defeat, visiting manager Paul Ince was proud of his side.
"When you get your chances you need to take advantage but the width of a post meant it didn't happen," he said.
"I'm disappointed for the players. This is the wealthiest team in the world and we have matched them for an hour.
"In the last game we were 10 minutes from knocking them out so we have to take positives from that. A score of 5-0 doesn't justify how well we played as a team."