Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 30 August 2014

No deal with City - Pellegrini

Manuel Pellegrini says he is focused on helping Malaga qualify for next season's Europa League

Malaga coach Manuel Pellegrini has denied having an agreement in place to become the next manager of Manchester City.

It has been reported that the Chilean has been lined up to succeed current City manager Roberto Mancini, whose position at the Etihad Stadium has come under the spotlight following a hugely disappointing season. According to reports, Mancini, whose team lost the FA Cup final to Wigan at the weekend, could even be sacked before the Blues take on Reading on Tuesday night.

However, Pellegrini insists he has no deal in place with any club for next season and is currently focused only on trying to help Malaga secure a Europa League place. "I deny here and now being the new coach of Manchester City, I haven't signed any agreement with anybody," Pellegrini told Malaga's official website after their goalless Primera Division draw with Sevilla.

"I've been fortunate enough, and very proud, that every year the big clubs have shown an interest in me. I have an agreement with Malaga not to talk to anyone and nothing has been agreed with any other club.

"I hope in the coming weeks that things will become a little clearer what is going to be the future here at this club."

Malaga have struggled with form since their heartbreaking Champions League quarter-final defeat by Borussia Dortmund, winning two of six Primera Division matches while losing three.

Despite that, Malaga are still sixth in the league standings and will be hoping to stay there over the final two games of the season.

Even if they do finish in sixth, though, they may not be playing in continental competition next season with a one-year ban from European football hanging over them. UEFA handed out the punishment in December due to the Spanish club's outstanding debts, but the club are hoping for a reprieve.

The former Real Madrid and Villarreal coach added of speculation about his future: "There are a lot of rumours.

"The coaching team and players are focused on qualifying the team for Europe. Overcoming the trauma of being knocked out of the Champions League wasn't easy, but we're still hoping to qualify for the Europa League."

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