Manuel Pellegrini has laughed off reports linking him with a move to AC Milan after guiding Malaga to the Champions League knock-out stages.
Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri is under pressure at San Siro following a disappointing start to the club’s domestic and European campaigns.
Pellegrini is rumoured to be among the candidates to replace Allegri should he be sacked, with former Barcelona head coach Pep Guardiola and Zenit St Petersburg’s Luciano Spalletti also reportedly in contention.
Malaga drew 1-1 at Milan on Tuesday to secure passage to the knockout stage of the Champions League.
And rather than be tempted with a switch to Serie A, Pellegrini insisted his sole focus remains with Malaga’s fortunes.
“I want to do well at Malaga,” Pellegrini told Sky Sport Italia.
“I want to get back up the Liga table where we are in eighth place, as to play in the Champions League next season too we have to do well domestically. Of course, we hope to do our best in this European journey.”
Focussing on the game as a whole, Pellegrini praised his players’ attitude and resolve in the face of what he called ‘a great team’, before revealing the game panned out as he expected, with the Spanish side gaining an early foothold before sitting back and dictating terms.
“It was important to achieve qualification tonight and especially in such a world famous stadium against a great team,” he said.
“We spoke with the players and decided it was best to score the goal in the first half, then after the break we controlled well until (Alexandre) Pato’s goal. We knew just what quality he has and what he can do.
“Milan were able to control the tempo of the game, but they did not create that many opportunities.”