Pellegrini Under Pressure – 5 Possible Replacements

Manchester City’s defeats in the last week to Barcelona and Liverpool have raised question marks over their side and heaped pressure on Manuel Pellegrini.

Their half-hearted title defence mirrors their timid 2012-13 campaign, which ultimately ended in Roberto Mancini’s dismissal. While Pellegrini’s relationship with the squad is a lot healthier than his Italian predecessor’s became, rumours have led to murmurings of discontent amongst City fans. Indeed, a Manchester Evening News poll today suggests almost have of those polled want the Chilean boss sacked this summer.

While many may be mischievous United fans, it is clear there is something amiss at the Etihad. We take a look at possible successors, should Pellegrini lose his job.

Pep Guardiola

City chiefs covet the Bayern Munich boss, although they may need to be patient. He is determined to win a Champions League title with the Bundesliga giants but is out of contract next year – when Pellegrini’s current deal expires.

Marti Perarnau, a close confidante of Guardiola’s, revealed in a book last year that England is his preferred next destination is the Premier League.

This would leave City in pole position given his friendship with Txiki Begiristain, City’s Director of Football.

Diego Simeone

Simeone’s work at Atletico has been nothing short of miraculous, akin to winning the title and reaching the Champions League final with Everton.

Rumours surfaced earlier this month that City’s hierarchy have already begun sounding out the Argentinian about his interest in the role, and it is believed he is keen on a move to England.

City’s side have often looked short of motivation this season, something that Simeone would surely rectify. His passion would certainly shake up City – and the Premier League – although some club officials are said to be wary of his temperamental streak.

Patrick Vieira

The Frenchman would be a surprise successor to Pellegrini but he does have his champions within the club.

It’s doubtful he would be Sheik Mansour’s first choice but is an intriguing candidate should other high-profile targets rule themselves out.

Vieira’s work as football development executive and in charge of the elite development squad has been well received by club bosses. City Chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak hinted last year that the former midfielder is being groomed to become City’s next boss.

Jurgen Klopp

Klopp’s stock may have fallen somewhat during Borussia Dortmund’s tumultuous current season but he is still widely admired by many of Europe’s elite clubs.

Klopp revealed that he turned down City and Chelsea in 2013 but didn’t feel it was the right time to move. However, Dortmund’s current fortunes and Bayern Munich’s continued dominance of German football may alter his thinking should he receive future overtures from the Manchester club.

Rafa Benitez

The Spaniard’s contract expires at the end of the season and it is believed he will not renew it.

Reports in Italy suggest that he is interesting several clubs including PSG, Newcastle United – and Manchester City.

Chelsea fans weren’t exactly enamoured with his interim appointment, but his record in England is admirable and his family still reside on Merseyside.