Malaga boss to take over from Mancini after FA Cup heartache
Roberto Mancini blasted his Manchester City bosses after his side were the sufferers of a major upset in the FA Cup final at the hands of Wigan Athletic.
The Italian tactician blamed ‘mistakes’ in the summer transfer window last year as reasons for the Citizens failure to retain the Premier League title or lift a domestic trophy.
However, considering City were 4/11 favourites going into the showpiece final with Wigan at Wembley, that sounds like sour grapes from an under-pressure manager.
Reports suggest that Mancini is set to be replaced in the Etihad Stadium hot-seat by Malaga manager Manuel Pellegrini, who has impressed on the Costa del Sol in the last few seasons.
Pellegrini has been earmarked to take over from Mancini by the City board, who are expected formally review his performance at the end of the campaign.
That is unlikely to provide happy ready for anyone at the Citizens, with Mancini not offering any silverware this year despite blowing over £50 million on new players in the close season.
However, the 48-year-old appeared to blame the club’s board for the lack of success, saying: “Our target when we started the season was to win the Premier League.
“But I think our mistakes started in the last transfer market. We didn’t do enough to our team.”
Pellegrini – who has dropped a big hint that his future lies away from Malaga – is thought to have already been approached by City officials and could leave Spain if a £3.3m release clause is exercised in his current contract.
This campaign Pellegrini trumped Mancini’s achievements in Europe by taking a financially troubled Malaga side to the quarter-finals of the Champions League, but endured two late, late goals to go out to praised finalists Borussia Dortmund.
This season was Malaga’s first ever in the competition, and Pellegrini has proved an able motivator for a team shorn of the talents of Santi Cazorla, Jose Salomon Rondon and Nacho Monreal.
The Chilean coach has steadied the ship domestically too, with Malaga currently sitting in sixth place in the league. Despite an unhappy year at Real Madrid, the 59-year-old worked wonders at Villareal and has a wealth of experience managing in South America.
When asked about his future, Pellegrini said: “I have made it clear that it is not ideal to end the season in this way.
“I don’t think any of us really want to leave Malaga but the circumstances we are in don’t allow us to stay. Being linked to other clubs doesn’t annoy me or make me feel uncomfortable. It’s something that happens every year.”
Mancini is just 11/4 odds to still be Manchester City manager at the start of next season, while he is 1/4 on not to be.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.