Pellegrini tipped for Man City hot seat

Speculation is growing Malaga coach Manuel Pellegrini will become the next manager of Manchester City.

Manuel Pellegrini

By FOX Sports Staff

City boss Roberto Mancini will lead his team out at Wembley in Saturday's FA Cup final against Wigan but it remains to be seen whether the Italian will be able to save his job even if the Manchester club win.

The FA Cup would still represent a significant trophy for City, however Mancini's failure to defend their Barclays Premier League title coupled with a poor campaign in Europe has fuelled rumours of an exit.

Leading the race for the City job appears to be Malaga's Pellegrini, who has enjoyed a good season.

Malaga are currently sixth in La Liga and impressed many with their run to the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League.

On Friday, UK bookmakers Sky Bet made the Chilean 1/4 to replace Mancini following a series of hefty bets.

"We're not sure where the Pellegrini to City rumours stem from, but we've had no shortage of three-figure bets from serious punters, even at odds-on," Sky Bet's Chris Spicer said.

"We've had no choice but to shorten the price to protect ourselves in the event of another shock announcement from Manchester. Incidentally, Jose Mourinho is a distant second favourite at 16/1."

Former Villarreal boss Pellegrini has rebuilt his career at Malaga after underachieving at Real Madrid in 2009/10.

Meanwhile, Mancini is ignoring talk of his future and is only focused on winning a third major trophy in three seasons with City.

"I won seven trophies at Inter in four years and they sacked me after four years," he said.

"This is football. I know football enough to understand this situation.

"I want to do only my job well, if it is possible, and continue to win every year. This is my target."

Mancini has previously said winning the cup and finishing second in the table, although not the prime objectives at the start of the season, would still represent a respectable campaign.

After all, the club had not won a trophy in 35 years prior to the 2011 FA Cup victory and last season's title triumph was a first in 44 years.

Mancini, who signed a five-year contract last summer, said: "I only want to do my job well, if it is possible, and continue to win every year. This is my target.

"I think it is important for every club to have a manager who can take a lot of decisions about the team, but now it is important we win this trophy."

City are odds-on favourites against Wigan, whose progress to the final has been overshadowed by their battle against relegation.

But despite their struggles, Roberto Martinez's men have a reputation for playing good football and even outplayed City for large spells of their meeting at Eastlands last month only to lose to a late goal.

Mancini said: "Every game we play against Wigan we have had a problem. We never win easy.

"First of all, they try to play football, always.

"Also, when they are losing a game, they continue to play football because they want to attack with a lot of players, and when they attack they are very dangerous.

"Never do they stay back too deep to defend the result.

"They don't play only counter-attack, they play football, they play to win."

City's sporting director, Txiki Begiristain reportedly met Pellegrini's agent, Jesus Martinez around a fortnight ago.



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