Malaga deny reports

Malaga have denied reports that they have paved they way for manager Manuel Pellegrini to take over at Manchester City.

Last Updated: 15/05/13 at 18:20 Post Comment

Manuel Pellegrini: Favourite for the Manchester City job

Manuel Pellegrini: Favourite for the Manchester City job

Malaga have denied reports that they have opened the way for Manuel Pellegrini to move on at the end of the season.

The Malaga Hoy newspaper on Wednesday said the Qatari-owned Spanish club has waived the release fee in the Chilean's contract which would allow him to leave when it expires on July 1, and that he has already agreed a two-year deal with City.

But a spokesman for Malaga told the BBC no announcement would be made until the club's domestic season was concluded.

He said: "There remain some fixtures to qualify for the Europa League, so in this moment, officially, we are not saying anything.

"The club has not communicated anything about this. I am not saying [the article] is true or false, I am just saying that the club officially has not said anything.

"I think that other clubs, Manchester City or whatever other club, have finished their season but Malaga has not finished their season."

Despite the latest developments, Pellegrini remains the red-hot favourite to fill the vacancy left by Monday's sacking of Roberto Mancini.

The Chilean, 59, managed Real Madrid for a season before taking over at Malaga in 2010 - helping the club qualify for the Champions League and reaching the quarter-finals of this year's competition before being ousted by finalists Borussia Dortmund.

With the City position available and Chelsea set to say goodbye to interim boss Rafa Benitez at the end of the season, Pellegrini had been sounded out by the Blues in April but is now widely expected to take the reins of the 2011/12 Premier League champions.

After Pellegrini was leap-frogged in the betting for the Chelsea job by Antonio Conte of Juventus, Jose Mourinho has been cemented as favourite to return to Stamford Bridge - although the Real boss also remains in the frame for the City post.

Meanwhile, Mario Balotelli is not surprised that Roberto Mancini was sacked by Manchester City because of internal problems between his former manager and the club.

Balotelli, who was signed by Mancini for City before being sold to AC Milan in January, insisted his fellow Italian is a "great manager".

Mancini was sacked by City on Monday after his team failed to meet targets laid down by the owners.

Asked about Mancini being sacked, Balotelli told CNN: "I am not really surprised but when I was with him he was a great manager and we had one of the best teams I have played with, the best players.

"I don't know why they didn't win. But obviously there were some problems inside. I am here [Milan] so I don't know."


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