Friday 23 February 2018

Pellegrini and Toure poised to stay after strong finish to season

Pellegrini: Likely to stay
Pellegrini: Likely to stay

Mark Odgen

Manuel Pellegrini and Yaya Toure are both poised to remain at Manchester City next season after safeguarding their futures at the club over the closing weeks of this campaign.

Pellegrini believes he will retain his job as manager after holding talks with the club chairman, Khaldoon al Mubarak, before the final game, against Southampton at the Etihad Stadium, on Sunday.

Toure will stay at the club after his agent, Dmitri Seluk, claimed the midfielder was “too important to let go” following attempts by Inter Milan to lure the Ivorian to the San Siro.

Pellegrini, who arrived in Toronto last night with the City squad for the first leg of their post-season tour of Canada and the United States, enters the final year of his three-year contract as manager next season and no discussions have taken place about extending his stay at the club.

Despite prolonged uncertainty over his future, with City repeatedly linked with the Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola, Pellegrini emerged from his meeting with Al Mubarak with renewed confidence over his prospects at the Etihad Stadium.

While Pellegrini, Txiki Begiristain, the director of football, and Ferran Soriano, the chief executive, are set to face more formal end-of-season appraisals in Abu Dhabi following the week-long trip to North America, the team’s resurgence in recent weeks, which led to City finishing as runners-up to the Premier League champions Chelsea, has banished the prospect of the former Real Madrid coach being sacked for poor results.

Since losing 4-2 against Manchester United on April 12, when City dropped to fourth – four points behind their neighbours – Pellegrini’s team climbed to second and ended the campaign nine points clear of Louis van Gaal’s side.

With Guardiola insisting he will see out the final year of his contract at Bayern, the stability offered by retaining Pellegrini is understood to outweigh any potential positives from turning to the likes of Carlo Ancelotti or Jurgen Klopp.

* Steve McClaren was yesterday sacked as Derby County manager.

(© Daily Telegraph, London)

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