Manuel Pellegrini remains the top among the hot favorites list of speculations to be the new manager of Manchester City after Roberto Mancini was sacked a year to the day since he brought the Premier League trophy to Eastlands. Roberto Mancini has been sacked as Manchester City manager just two days earlier at the Etihad Stadium citing that he failed to achieve the club’s target. Assistant manager David Platt followed the Italian out of the exit door, with coach Brian Kidd placed in interim charge for the rest of the season. Kidd has also been asked to lead the team on next week’s United States tour.
Now, following Roberto Mancini’s departure from Etihad Stadium, it appears that the 59-year-old Chilean is poised to take over the real thing. Malaga boss Pellegrini has been a reported long-term target for City, having previously won plaudits for his work at two other Spanish clubs in Real Madrid and Villarreal. Even though the media grapevine is abuzz with extensive profiles of Pellegrini, the Chilean tried to dampen down speculation by saying: “I deny here and now being the new coach of Manchester City, I haven’t signed any agreement with anybody.” The 59-year-old is odds on to take charge at the Etihad, with other candidates such as Jose Mourinho, Jurgen Klopp and Rafael Benitez considered big outsiders.
Mancini took charge in December 2009 and led the club to FA Cup success two years later, their first trophy in 35 years, before lifting the Premier League title last season.
However, his failure to build on those achievements counted against him and he was unable to secure a second FA Cup, surprisingly losing to Wigan in the final on Saturday. Manuel Pellegrini was appointed to manage Malaga, a team dubbed “the Manchester City of Spain”, less than three years ago.
Pellegrini’s awareness that he is top of City’s list gives him a powerful bargaining hand, knowing that it would be embarrassing for City to miss out on him now. But after a Mancini era that was characterized by the Italian’s high-handedness in each and every department, Manchester City will be cautious and will be cutting down the powers of the team’s ancillary roles, in order to avoid the mistakes of Mancini.
Manchester City’s pursuit of Manuel Pellegrini is expected to help the club’s move to sign his 21-year-old Malaga playmaker, Isco, with whom the Chilean also shares an agent. Reports in Spain suggested that Isco, who is valued at £27m, has been offered a four-year deal by City, but the player and his father, Paco Alarcon, are considering if a further year in Spain would be better. City sporting director Txiki Begiristain’s talks with Pellegrini’s agent, Jesus Martinez, have allowed him to discuss bringing Isco, a Spain international, to the Etihad.