Manuel Pellegrini's agent has cast doubt over the future of the Manchester City boss, by claiming his client would be interested in a switch to Serie A side Napoli.
The City boss has seen his job come under threat in recent weeks after a number of poor results, and speculation is rife that he could be shown the exit at the end of the season.
With his team sitting five points adrift of Premier League leaders Chelsea and on the cusp of a Champions League exit at the hands of Barcelona, Pellegrini faces a trophy-less second season in England and that could be enough to convince the club's hierarchy to end his tenure.
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The rumour mill has already dished up a number of potential replacements should the Chilean depart the Etihad in the summer, including a former Premier League winning boss. Carlo Ancelotti is reportedly under pressure to win at least one of La Liga and the Champions League and failure to do so could lead to him being shown the door at Real Madrid.
Should that happen he's likely to be first in line for the City post after Pep Guardiola ruled himself out of the running.
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With current Napoli boss Rafael Benitez yet to agree a new deal with the Serie A side, Pellegrini's agent, Jesus Martinez, spoke to Italian radio station Radio Crc about the possibility of his client replacing the former Chelsea and Liverpool boss.
In an interview quoted by the Manchester Evening News, Martinez said: "Pellegrini has Italian roots, he’s also been on holiday in Naples.
"He’s a lover of language and culture. He greatly appreciates Italy and Neapolitan culture.You never know in football.
While Martinez talked up Pellegrini's love of all things Neapolitan, he was reluctant to make any firm comment on the Napoli job.
"Could he replace Benitez? Pellegrini does not allow me to talk about him in relation to a position at a club which already has a Coach under contract," he said.
Martinez would, however, refuse to rule out future discussions, adding: “We have to wait a few more months, then if [Napoli President Aurelio] De Laurentiis calls, we’ll discuss it.”
Despite Martinez seemingly opening the door for Pellegrini to make the switch to Serie A, the Chilean is still under contract for another year. The former Malaga and Real Madrid coach signed a three-year deal in the summer of 2013 and Martinez insisted his client has no plans to break that, saying: "Manuel has another year on his contract, and he intends to respect it.
However, he did acknowledge the decision may be out of Pellegrini's hands, adding: “I don’t know, however, what the leadership’s intentions are.