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Pellegrini: I'm leaving Malaga

Published 22/05/2013 | 13:37

Manuel Pellegrini said he is leaving Malaga 'for sporting reasons'
Manuel Pellegrini said he is leaving Malaga 'for sporting reasons'

Manuel Pellegrini has confirmed he will leave Malaga at the end of the season.

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The Chilean head coach has been heavily tipped to fill the vacancy left by Roberto Mancini at Manchester City this summer and has now stated he will not be in charge of the Champions League quarter-finalists next season.

According to Spanish newspaper website Marca.com, he said: "My coaching staff and I are separating from Malaga but our union with this city will be eternal. I'm going for sporting reasons."

The 59-year-old's exit from La Rosaleda has been largely expected for weeks although the club themselves have yet to confirm his departure.

His name was being linked with City before Mancini's exit on May 13, although Pellegrini denied that a deal had already been done following the goalless draw with Sevilla on May 12. "I deny here and now being the new coach of Manchester City, I haven't signed any agreement with anybody," Pellegrini said on his club's official website at the time.

The Qatari-owned club currently sit in the Europa League places in the Primera Division but are banned from European competition next season due to unpaid bills in breach of UEFA's Financial Fair Play regulations. A further one-year suspended ban was overturned on appeal.

Pellegrini added in his speech at the Malaga Provincial Council: "Sunday will be my last match at La Rosaleda and will be very exciting for me. I'm not leaving due to the matter of money but looking for a project that allows me to develop my profession conveniently."

The former Real Madrid coach first moved to Europe in 2004 when he became boss of Villarreal. In five years with the Yellow Submarine, he guided the club to unprecedented success, reaching the Champions League semi-finals in 2006 and finishing second in the league in 2008.

That attracted the attentions of Madrid and Pellegrini moved to the Santiago Bernabeu in 2009 but was sacked after a single season, following a second-placed finish in the league and last-16 exit in the Champions League. He moved to Malaga in November 2010 and guided the club to 11th before finishing fourth in his first full season in charge.

His side exited the Champions League at the quarter-final stage to Borussia Dortmund this season and currently sit in sixth place in La Liga, with games against Deportivo and Barcelona to come to finish their season.

Press Association

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