Barcelona are reportedly keeping tabs on Malaga boss Manuel Pellegrini following growing concerns over manager Tito Vilanova’s health.
Pellegrini reportedly has an agreement in place to succeed former Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini, who was relieved of his duties by City’s Abu Dhabi owners on Monday night.
However, according to the London Evening Standard, Pellegrini’s £3.3million buy-out clause is yet to be met and the Catalan giants have contacted the Chilean’s agent to notify them on his intentions next season.
Vilanova missed three months of Barcelona’s campaign from January to March after the 44-year-old suffered a relapse of the cancer that was first diagnosed in November 2011 when he was Pep Guardiola’s assistant.
And it is understood that Pellegrini is Barcelona’s number one choice should the club part ways with Vilanova. Barcelona chiefs believe he would fit in well with the club’s ethos of attacking, possession football, having implemented the system at previous sides.
Despite having a largely unsuccessful spell at bitter rivals Real Madrid from 2009 to 2010, Pellegrini took cash-strapped Malaga to the Champions League knockout stages this season for the first time in the club’s history.
The 59-year-old also headed one of Villarreal’s most successful ever periods, leading the club to a second place finish and a first ever Champions League semi-final in 2006 where they lost to Arsenal.
Pellegrini will have a tough job on his hands with whichever project he decides to take on next season. Manchester City will be looking to regain their Premier League title from rivals Manchester United, whilst Barcelona will hope to reassert themselves as European’s best having been humiliated 7-0 by Bayern Munich over two legs in the Champions League.