Manuel Pellegrini’s next adventure after City could lead him to picturesque St. Petersburg. Russian regional news channel Life78, which broadcasts around the clock in the St. Petersburg and the Leningrad regions, claims today that Pellegrini has reached a preliminary agreement to take over from André Villas-Boas at reigning champions Zenit next season.
This isn’t a new link – Sport Express have previously reported it – while Pellegrini has also been tipped to take over at Valencia in Spain. However, Life78 claim to have information from a source that the framework of an agreement is in place. Only a few things are preventing it from being a done deal, they say.
Zenit will pay Pellegrini a salary of €4 million per year according to the report, but the stumbling block is over the duration of his contract and the distribution of powers between the head coach and sporting department. Zenit want to hand the 62-year-old a two-year deal, while Pellegrini’s representatives are pushing for four years.
Zenit have a history of shorter term deals with examples such as Dick Advocaat (1 year + option of 1 year extension), Luciano Spalletti (2 years + option of 1 year extension) and current boss Villas-Boas (1.5 years + option of 1 year extension), and want a similar deal with Pellegrini.
The other obstacle is how much power the Chilean would have over transfers. He wants to help determine the transfer policy of the club, as he has at City, while Zenit have recently hired a new sporting director who can bypass the head coach and bring in the players he wants.
Other than these two potential complications, Pellegrini is reported to be happy to join Zenit, with most of the deal agreed. The reliability of Life78 is unclear, but their report is very detailed and specific, suggesting there could be something to it.