Manuel Pellegrini has referred to Manchester City as an “option” for himself after he has officially departed from Malaga.
Manchester City has been without a manager since the harsh sacking of Roberto Mancini. Their post season tour of America was conducted with Brian Kidd at the helm, but come the start of the season they will of course be looking to have appointed a new, experience manager.
There have been rumours for some time that Pellegrini is the first choice to take over, and that there is already an agreement for him to take over. It is even likely that this agreement was already established before Mancini’s sacking.
With this in mind, Pellegrini’s latest comments and actions will come as no surprise. It has already been established that he will be leaving Malaga, and in his final home game against Deportivo, a match that Malaga won 3 – 0, he spent a great deal of time saying his goodbyes to the fans. He has maintained a strong degree of professionalism in the last few weeks, refusing to speak of his next destination until he has parted company with his current commitment. Despite this, the media has been more or less sure that he will be in charge for City’s fist game next season.
It may come as some relief then that Pellegrini has finally admitted that Manchester City is a possibility.
[quote]I am lucky to have good options and Manchester City is an option.[/quote]
He may have referred to Manchester City as just an “option”, but realistically – given the hype in recent weeks – that is very much a conformation that his appointment is more or less certain.
City would certainly be getting a practised manager. His most reputable jobs have been with Villarreal 2004-09, Real Madrid 2009-10 and Malaga from then until now. On departure from Villarreal he was considered a great success, finishing second with them in his final season as well as achieving some impressive runs in Europe.
This led to him taking charge of Real Madrid where he immediately spent £200 million on Benzema, Ronaldo, Kaka and Alonso. It is more controversial whether or not he did well with Real Madrid. Madrid were eliminated early on in the Copa del Rey, reached only the last-16 of the Champions League, and failed to win the title. That said, he managed to accumulate a record points score of 96 for Real, and it was just unfortunate that Barcelona were able to top this.
He found success once again with Malaga, guiding them to fourth and into the Champions League, again with a club record points tally. In his second season he managed to take Malaga to the quarter-finals of the Champions League, and was only minutes away from the semis, but Malaga conceded to two last minute goals to Dortmund to prevent this dream.
Throughout his recent career, and even at Madrid where he was sacked for underperforming, there is plenty to suggest that he will be successful if he is eventually signed by City. He has experience with money, something he will not be short of, and he has also shown proficiency in European competition. That will especially be important to Manchester City since they have been eliminated in the group stages two years in a row, albeit in two terribly difficult groups.
Speaking in America, Manchester City chief executive Ferran Soriano said:
[quote]Age is not relevant at this point, but with the kind of squad we have, we want a senior manager. We want a manager who knows about football but we want somebody who knows about man management and this is something we are convinced about, that it is impossible for us to win the Champions League if we don’t have a group that behaves like a family.[/quote]
Indeed, if City do manage to attain the services of Pellegrini, they will be getting a very senior and skilled manager, and as far as the realistic options out there go, he is certainly one of the best – if not the best.