Who could replace Pellegrini?

Pellegrini may consider himself unlucky to have drawn Barca in Europe two years in a row, but while the Citizens' owners will be frustrated by their lack of progress on the continent, it's the additional troubles on the domestic front that could cost the former Malaga boss his job.

Forget Barcelona, it's losses to the Burnely in the league, to Middlesbrough in the FA Cup and Newcastle in the League Cup that could be what decides Pellegrini's fate

Last week's Premier League defeat to the lowly Clarets saw City fall six points off the pace set by Chelsea at the top of the league table, with Arsenal (one point) and Manchester United (two points) right on the tail of the Eastlands outfit. 

However, while many feel that City would be better off cutting Pellegrini loose before his contract runs out in 2016, it's a lot harder to come up with a good candidate to replace him.

Some of the names that have been bandied about include…

Pep Guardiola – The man many would want to take over at the Etihad, the Spaniard is currently working his magic at Bayern Munich with great success. While Guardiola has spoken of a desire to manage in England one day, he has also indicated he will stay with the Bundesliga outfit until at least 2016 when his current deal ends.

Jurgen Klopp – Over the last couple of seasons, Klopp has emerged as the best young manager in Europe, with Arsenal fans around the world exalting his virtues as the anti-Wenger chorus took centre stage. However, Dortmund's struggles this term have seen Klopp's stakes nose-dive somewhat, although he still boasts a healthy reputation.

Frank de Boer – Switching from Germany to Holland, we find the 44-year-old de Boer has enjoyed a fair amount of success at Ajax. However, the former Dutch captain is yet to prove he can succeed in European competition and this could count against him, especially as his success is limited to the Eredivisie.

Rafa Benitez – If rumours are to be believed, Benitez could be one of the few big-name managers open to a move in the off-season. Having managed Liverpool and Chelsea the Spaniard, who is currently at Napoli, certainly has the right pedigree, particularly when it comes to managing in the European competitions.

Carlo Ancelotti – Many questions surrounding Ancelotti's availability could be answered this weekend when Madrid take on Barcelona. If Los Blancos are unable to walk away with the league title again this season then the notoriously fickle Madrid hierarchy could send the Italian packing.

Diego Simeone – Staying in Madrid, we have Simeone, who rose up the managerial pecking order at a rapid rate last season. The frustration of never quite being on an even playing field with Barca and Real Madrid may cause Simeone to look elsewhere, although initial suggestions are that he's honing in on a new contract at the Vicente Calderon.

Patrick Viera – Having formed part of City's backroom staff for five years the Frenchman certainly possesses an intimate knowledge of the club. However, his lack of managerial experience will likely be seen as an obstacle that can't be overcome. 

Should Pellegrini be sacked? If so, who should replace him? Let us know what you think…

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