Valencia will do their utmost to tempt Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini this summer to replace the recently sacked Gary Neville, the Daily Mail understands.
It was revealed back in February that Pellegrini will part away with the Etihad to make way for Pep Guardiola when his contract runs out in June, although there is also a possibility that he might lose his job before the end of this season, if Manchester City’s Premier League slump continue.
But it has not dissuaded Valencia, and the La Liga strugglers still regard the Chilean as their ideal candidate to take over as next manager following Gary Neville’s sack on Wednesday after bagging just three wins from 16 league matches in less than four months in charge.
Latest reports say Suso Garcia Pitarch, sporting director at Mestalla, had already met Pellegrini’s agent as the struggling Spanish outfits planned for a complete overhaul next season, keeping in mind that Neville would not be a long-term prospect.
However, Pellegrini still has a house in Valencia from his time managing Villarreal and it has long been speculated around the Etihad Campus training ground that he is planning for a return to Spanish football with Los Che next season.
But there are several obstacles to overcome to complete the deal, with the Chilean manager believed to be not agreeing to take over a team as youthful as Valencia – something which will undoubtedly raise some sort of smile among a portion of the City support.
And Pellegrini, who has consistently praised the exciting working environment at the Etihad, especially in comparison to his tumultuous season at Real Madrid, would also prefer to have considerable say in major decisions taken by the club.
Pellegrini, who has also been offered a lucrative contract by Russian giants Zenit St. Petersburg, is said to be keeping all options open, and some reports even suggest he is keen to stay in England after his association with City finally comes to an end.
But it seems there will be no such opportunity for a second chance in Premier League, with Chelsea, who earlier was interested in the veteran tactician, ready to appoint Antonio Conte.
Pellegrini’s immediate future is just as uncertain, with Manchester City at the moment holding on to the fourth place in the Premier League table, only one point above West Ham and two ahead of arch rivals Manchester United, having won just one of its last six games.
This latest run of form has apparently alarmed the Etihad hierarchy and Pellegrini could be axed before even the season ends, with Saturday’s match against Bournemouth seen as a crucial one ahead of next week’s Champions League quarterfinal against Paris Saint-Germain.
Meanwhile, Valencia has entrusted its short-term future to interim manager Pako Ayestaran, who has replaced Gary Neville for the remaining of the season.