Manuel Pellegrini’s future lies away from Manchester City after today’s news that Pep Guardiola will replace him next summer.
Pellegrini extended his contract for another year in August, but there was always a feeling this could be a ploy to extinguish the Guardiola talk or insurance in case the Catalan coach changed his mind.
But Pellegrini remains a man of ambition. He has been linked with the Chelsea job and The Times reported today that he prefers to stay in the Premier League.
A return to Spain is not out of the question though, and Plaza Deportivo report today that Valencia have already contacted the Chilean about taking over there next season.
Gary Neville’s much hyped arrival at Valencia has been a disaster so far, and an experienced coach like Pellegrini, who was a success at both Villarreal and Málaga, would be a good fit for Peter Lim’s project. Manuel would also get to coach his old favourite, Alvaro Negredo, assuming the misfiring forward isn’t sold before then.
Plaza Deportivo claim that talks between Pellegrini’s representatives and Valencia took place even before City announced Guardiola would take charge. Pellegrini has been kept in the loop and has known for a while he would be replaced if Pep said yes – which he did quite some time ago.
Valencia want a coach of experience and prestige for what is a big job. They want to challenge Barcelona and the Madrid clubs, and Pellegrini has the ability to do that, as he once did with Villarreal. The report says Pellegrini wants a serious and stable project, and would need guarantees from Peter Lim.
Rafa Benitez and Quique Sanchez Flores are listed as alternatives if Pellegrini says ‘no’. If Chelsea do follow up alleged interest, The Engineer’s preference may be for Stamford Bridge where Roman Abramovich has long craved entertaining, attacking football.