Manuel Pellegrini’s agent has claimed that both Chelsea and AS Roma have contacted the former Real Madrid manager about his availability.
Pellegrini is the latest name to have popped up in Chelsea’s annual managerial merry-go-round. Rafa Benitez, who was appointed as the interim manager of the London club after the sacking of Roberto Di Matteo, is unlikely to get a contract extension beyond this season.
Chelsea have failed to achieve consistency under the Spaniard. The Blues have been knocked out of the League cup against Swansea, they only managed to get a replay against lowly Brentford in the FA cup and have already been knocked out of the Champions League.
Although they are only four points behind Manchester City in the Premier League, Russian owner Roman Abramovich will be far from pleased about what could potentially turn out to be a trophy-less season.
The big name that was initially linked with the managerial vacancy at Stamford Bridge was Pep Guardiola. But the former Barcelona manager has now decided to join Bayern Munich next summer, which leaves Chelsea with very limited options. Although Jose Mourinho has been linked with a return to England, it seems unlikely he will re-join Chelsea as a manager.
So now it seems like Abramovich has turned his attention towards Mourinho’s predecessor at Madrid – Manuel Pellegrini. His agent Jesus Martinez has disclosed that both AS Roma, after they recently sacked Zdenek Zeman, and Chelsea have enquired about his availability.
“Less than 15 days ago we had an offer from Roma, but we declined outright. We said no because we are midway through the season.
“Chelsea and other clubs have asked, but nothing else official has been said. Manuel would love to manage in the Premier League, but he’d also like to go to Germany, Italy and other championships. There is plenty of time to analyse where he will be next season.
“Manuel has a contract with Malaga. I believe that in April or May we will know clearly what will happen with his future, to see if the sporting project is changing and we need to make a decision. Our first intention is to respect our commitment, but that also depends on the conditions which exist.” – Martinez was quoted in Spanish press.
Pellegrini has had mixed success in La Liga. It was he who brought the likes of Kaka, Ronaldo and Benzema to Real Madrid during his tenure at the club. So at least he is no stranger to big spending owners. But despite all those big names and his team accumulating record number of points, Real Madrid finished second in the league to Barcelona.
After he was sacked at Madrid to make way for Mourinho, the Chilean got an interesting offer from Malaga, who were beginning a new project under new owners. Pellegrini succeeded in taking Malaga to the Champions League in his very first season, but soon the club ran into financial troubles.
Malaga have exceeded all expectations once again and have managed to reach the knockout stages of the Champions League this season. Moreover, they have been playing some good football – despite losing a lot of their stars in the transfer market.
Pellegrini bowed to remain at the club despite the club being banned from European competitions for one year due to financial irregularities and unpaid salaries, but rumours in Spain suggest that the Chilean will leave the club in summer.
Considering the high profile names that Abromovich has a fascination, Pellegrini is a deviation from that trend. Not because Pellegrini isn’t a capable manager, but because he is someone who keeps a low profile. It would be a interesting choice if the Chilean takes over at Stamford Bridge this summer.