Former Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini has revealed in a sit-down interview for Encuentro El Mercurio in his homeland of Chile that he tried to sign two of the country’s biggest stars during his tenure at the Etihad Stadium.
Pellegrini, 64, is back in England having taken over at West Ham, where he is reunited with one of his generals from the double-winning 2013/14 season, Pablo Zabaleta.
And the veteran coach has spoke of he tried to sign Alexis Sanchez, then of Arsenal and now Manchester United, and Bayern Munich midfielder Arturo Vidal, while City boss.
Pellegrini explained the reason either deal proved to be impossible – City’s FFP restrictions at the time.
“It’s true that I tried to sign Alexis Sanchez and Arturo Vidal while at Manchester City, but at that time City was punished by Financial Fair Play and it was impossible,” Pellegrini explained.
“I would happily take them to my team, but now for economic reasons, it is impossible. Signing [Claudio] Bravo for West Ham is not viable either.”
City tried again for Alexis Sanchez last summer and in January, before his agent’s increased financial demands led to them walking away, and he instead became the highest-paid player in the league at Manchester United.
With Alexis now at Manchester United, Pep Guardiola is instead targeting Leicester City star Riyad Mahrez and hopes to tie up a deal for the former PFA Player of the Year soon.
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