Amid rumours of Roberto Mancini’s departure from Manchester, reports claim current Malaga coach Manuel Pellegrini is set to take over at Eastlands. The Malaga manager has reportedly held talks with Manchester City officials and has agreed in principle to take the reigns in the summer.
Though Mancini has enjoyed domestic success, winning the 2011 FA Cup and the 2012 Barclay’s Premier League, City have languished in Europe, failing to make it out of the group stage in the last two editions of the UEFA Champions League. The Sky Blues painted an especially dismal figure this year, managing only three points and no victories, finishing bottom of their group.
Despite his claims last week that he has been the best manager in England over the last 15 months, City’s aspirations call for greater success in Europe, leaving Mancini in an unenviable position.
Pellegrini on the other hand has guided Malaga to a successful Champions League campaign, despite losing key playmaker Santi Cazorla and star striker Salomon Rondon over the summer. Malaga topped their group convincingly, beating rivals AC Milan, Anderlecht, and Zenit St Petersburg along the way.
The Spanish club's domestic form has also been impressive this season as they currently lie in fourth place in La Liga. All this has been achieved despite the inner turmoil at the club. Financial problems led to unpaid wages last season, resulting in Malaga being banned from European competition next year. The level of success Pellegrini has achieved despite off the field distractions have been admirable.
Pellegrini undoubtedly deserves to be at a top level club, and recently voiced his frustration at losing another key member of the first team, Nacho Monreal, to Arsenal. Clearly irked at the financial position of club, Pellegrini would be blameless if he followed his players in leaving the Andalusian club.
A Coach of Pellegrini’s caliber deserves better than what Malaga can currently offer, and he cannot be blamed if he chooses to leave the club in the summer. The City board of directors is littered with ex-Barcelona men, including Chief Executive Officer Ferran Soriano and Director of Football Txiki Begiristain, who both know full well the capabilities of the Chilean.
It may be that the City board see Pellegrini as the man to lead The Sky Blues to new heights in Europe.
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