When Pep Guardiola replaces Manuel Pellegrini in the dugout next summer, few City fans will complain. Even the most ardent Pellegrini fan has to admit than Pep is the next-level coach we have long been waiting for, and hopefully the one who makes us a serious force in Europe.
While Pellegrini is no Pep, he is still a talented and highly regarded manager. For that reason, he is of interest to some big clubs across Europe. Chelsea have already considered him, according to reputable sources, while Valencia’s interest is well documented, and they believe they can get him.
Now even Zenit fancy “The Engineer”, according to the reliable Sport Express in Russia. They have information from colleagues at Cooperativa, a Chilean radio station, that Pellegrini has become the number one candidate to replace André Villas-Boas at the helm next season.
AVB will be leaving Zenit after a successful spell and the Russian giants have been considering their options. Monaco boss Leonardo Jardim is one, but Zenit chiefs believe he is too defensive. Claudio Ranieri is another, but with Leicester bound for the Champions League and possibly the Premier League title, the chances of him swapping England for Russia are remote.
For Zenit, Pellegrini is now seen as the logical and wise choice. His philosophy of attacking football and good teamwork appeals to them, with club chiefs wanting a coach who can deliver entertaining football.
Zenit want Pellegrini, but does Pellegrini want Zenit? It has been widely reported that he’d prefer to stay in the Premier League, and if that is not an option a return to Spain with Valencia must be very tempting. There will also be interest from Serie A. Zenit are a respected Champions League club, but the Russian league isn’t the most enticing when compared to the Premier League or La Liga.
Pellegrini will have some good options when he departs the Etihad this summer, and Saint Petersburg appears to be one of them. Good luck wherever your next adventure takes you, El Ingeniero.