Manchester City are poised to sack manager Roberto Mancini and replace him with Malaga’s Manuel Pellegrini.
The Italian’s fate was sealed at a board meeting held by the club’s hierarchy just hours before their appearance at Wembley. It is understood even a convincing win over the Latics would not have been enough to save the former Inter Milan coach from the chop. Now the axe could fall as early as Monday, which will be exactly a year to the day after the club lifted the Premier League trophy.
There were unconfirmed suggestions last night that the Italian’s departure will be announced tomorrow and Mancini’s latest barbed attack on his club’s communications department, for not quashing stories regarding his exit, have contributed to the feeling at the highest levels of the club that his relationships with executives and players are not conducive to him taking the team to new levels.
Pellegrini, who has been monitored by City since January and whose agent Jesus Martinez met with Begiristain in Madrid last month, has emerged as the leading candidate to replace Mancini at the Etihad Stadium.
The 59-year-old has been manager of Spanish side Malaga for 3 seasons now, having taken charge 127 matches with the club. His previous jobs include managerial roles at Real Madrid and Villarreal.
He led Malaga to a fourth place finish and Champions League football in his first full season and after the club came into financial crisis in 2012, Pellegrini inspired his players to the quarter-finals of the 2012–13 Champions League.
After building Malaga and Villarreal from the bottom up, the Chilean could be a shrewd choice for Manchester City. However only time will tell.