I have written a lot about the potential comings and goings at Manchester City in recent months.
The Citizens have finally announced that former-Malaga boss Manuel Pellegrini has been confirmed as their new boss on a three-year deal, after weeks of speculation of the Chilean’s future.
The appointment of Pellegrini is probably one of the shrewdest decisions the club have made in recent years.
As one of my Spanish colleagues stated if Pellegrini is given full reign over the team I really do believe that the Chilean will help City win the Premier League title next season.
Pellegrini has proven his managerial ability repeatedly in Spanish football, but one thing that is missing on his European football CV is a league title. That could be because Pellegrini is very much a victim of circumstance.
He has guided the likes of Villarreal and Malaga to heights never seen before at the respective clubs. However, even for Pellegrini it was an impossible task to overthrow the goliaths of Real Madrid and Barcelona, although he did finish second in La Liga with Villarreal.
His one season at Real Madrid was interesting to say the least. Pellegrini claimed a then club record 96 points, only to be beaten to the title by a Barcelona team at the peak of their powers. The 59-year-old could not do much more and many Los Blancos fans believed in the Chilean.
After gaining that record points total with Real, the former-River Plate boss was shown the door and replaced with serial league title collector Jose Mourinho, who guided Los Blancos to the 100-point mark, a record equalled by Barcelona this season.
Pellegrini may not have won a European Cup, but guided Villarreal to their first ever Champions League semi-final, while also helping Malaga to the quarter-finals of the same competition in their debut season.
Like so many Real bosses he failed to help Los Blancos win the European Cup, but cannot be judged harshly on that score when the likes of Fabio Capello and Jose Mourinho failed to secure Real’s holy grail.
If Pellegrini managed to help City out of their Champions League group next season that would be progress. The Chilean will be hoping for a kinder draw than last years though.
Manchester City have already spent over £50million this summer on the likes of Jesus Navas, who arrived from Sevilla and Brazilian midfielder Fernandinho, who arrived from Ukrainian giants Shakhtar Donetsk.
No doubt, Pellegrini has his own transfer targets in mind. One of those is Malaga’s exciting young attacking midfielder Isco. The 21-year-old revealed in an interview earlier this summer that he would really like to work with Pellegrini again, after the Chilean left Malaga.
Isco is currently away on international duty with Spain at the under-21 European Championships. The youngster is considered the next big football superstar and played a big part in Malaga’s rise to prominence under Pellegrini.
Do not be surprised if the attacking midfielder finds his way to Eastlands this summer. City does have competition for the youngsters’ signature though with the likes of Real Madrid and free-spending French outfit PSG chasing Isco’s signature.
Manuel Pellegrini has promised that City will play a more attractive brand of football next season. Former-boss Roberto Mancini had his strengths, but he was very much a pragmatist.
Pellegrini likes his teams to play attractive, passing football and it looks like the City board are going to give Pellegrini the tools to do that in the best possible fashion.
A midfield containing Jesus Navas, Fernandinho, David Silva, Yaya Toure and possibly Isco is a mouth-watering prospect. Next season could be very exciting for City fans.
The new City boss is very much a novice Premier League boss, but his vast managerial experience should be enough to guide him through the difficult world of the Premier League. I am sure Pellegrini has a good knowledge of the English top flight being such a football man.
The Chilean boss arrives at City at a good time. All the top three clubs have new managers, if you can call Jose Mourinho a new manager at Chelsea. Manchester United also has their first new manager in a quarter of a century in David Moyes.
The race for next season’s Premier League title is difficult to predict, but if Pellegrini gets the players he wants then it will be very difficult for any team to stop the Citizens next season.
Will Manchester City win the Premier League title next season?