Roberto Mancini has been sacked as Manchester City manager, one year to the day since he led City to the Premier League title. Malaga boss Manuel Pellegrini expected to replace Mancini next month.
Mancini’s position at City has been under pressure since they crashed out of the Champions League in December, failing to win a game. Being played off the pitch in the FA Cup final to side that will get relegated was the final straw for the City board.
As for Pellegrini, who City fans sung unsavoury songs about at Wembley on Saturday, he denies having an agreement in place to become the next manager of Manchester City.
Pellegrini insists he has no deal in place with any club for next season and is currently focused only on trying to help Malaga secure a Europa League place.
“I deny here and now being the new coach of Manchester City, I haven’t signed any agreement with anybody,” Pellegrini told reporters following Malaga’s goalless La Liga draw with Sevilla in quotes reported on his club’s official website.
“I’ve been fortunate enough, and very proud, that every year the big clubs have shown an interest in me. I have an agreement with Malaga not to talk to anyone and nothing has been agreed with any other club. I hope in the coming weeks that things will become a little clearer what is going to be the future here at this club.”
Pellegrini has done a remarkable job at Malaga, getting them into the Champions League quarter-final this season where they lost a heartbreaker to Dortmund. Previously he took Villarreal to a 3rd place finish in 2004-2005 and a Champions League semi-final in 2005-2006
While those stories are frequently mentioned in the media, the leave out his stint at Real Madrid where he struggled to meet expectations with a team of stars. Pellegrini was given £210m worth of stars in the form of Karim Benzema, Kaka, Xabi Alonso and Cristiano Ronaldo.
And that has to worry City fans. Pellegrini has been very successful at smaller clubs, who are the underdogs. That is not Manchester City. City is more like Real Madrid. Pellegrini will be expected to win trophies and successfully manage the big ego’s of superstars. Can he learn from his problems in Madrid and be successful in Manchester?