Manchester City will step up their efforts to make long-term target Pep Guardiola their next manager, but only if Manuel Pellegrini fails convince he has the pedigree to match their ambition to dominate in the Premier League and finally make progress in Europe.
Pellegrini has been assured he'll get time to turn things around after a difficult start to the season by City's own high standards, particularly in the Champions League.
City have failed to win any of their four matches in the group stages and must now beat Bayern Munich and Roma to have any realistic chance of reaching the knockout stages, piling the pressure on Pellegrini and putting Guardiola's name back in the frame to land a top Premier League job.
City chiefs know Guardiola very well
City's director of football Txiki Begiristain has a strong working relationship with Guardiola dating back to their time together at Barcelona, although it failed to stop the two-time Champions League winner choosing to resume his coaching career at Bayern Munich following his year-long sabbatical from the game.
Persuading Guardiola to turn his back on his project at Bayern may prove a very tough task though, but one City owner Sheikh Mansour believes they may have to win in order to finally make a mark in Europe.
- Guardiola is open to becoming Manchester United manager
- Arsenal see Guardiola as potential replacement for Wenger
- Chelsea held talks with Guardiola in 2013
Next summer hold the key
A Cty insider has insisted that Guardiola may be surprisingly receptive to a shock summer switch after revealing he can see himself moving to Manchester in the future, albeit to take charge of bitter rivals United.
The Mirror report a well-placed source believes City's pursuit of Guardiola is not without foundation, claiming: “Txiki and Ferran have a real relationship with Pep.
“There is a belief one day Pep will arrive at City.
“Given he’s under contract at Bayern people wonder if he is attainable. But let’s see what might happen next summer.”
Pellegrini is still hugely popular amongst the City hierarchy but the likeable Chilean should be under no illusion that without signs of tangible progress he may well be moved on when the current campaign closes, in a similar vein to his predecessor Roberto Mancini.