Pellegrini confident of success as he assumes City hot-seat
Chilean signed on a three-year contract to replace Roberto Mancini
Manuel Pellegrini is the new Manchester City manager. Photograph: Nick Potts/PA Wire
Manuel Pellegrini has announced his long-awaited appointment as Manchester City’s manager with the lofty target of leading “the best squad in the Premier League” to domestic and Champions League titles next season.
The 59-year-old also promised a “new cycle and a new style” from the Roberto Mancini era as he was finally confirmed as the Italian’s successor yesterday, almost two weeks after leaving Malaga.
His arrival on a three-year, €4.0 million a year contract had been delayed by a pay-off dispute with the Spanish club, whose appointment of Bernd Schuster as their new coach on Friday enabled the Chilean to rubber-stamp his move to the Etihad Stadium.
Pellegrini agreed personal terms with City last month and the club have since underlined their determination to win the Premier League title back from Manchester United by spending €35 million to sign the Brazilian midfielder Fernandinho from Shakhtar Donetsk plus an initial €17.5 million to prise Jesus Navas from Sevilla.
Isco, who flourished under Pellegrini at Malaga and shares the same agent as his former manager, is expected to follow after his involvement at the European Under-21s Championship with Spain.
The additions to a squad that finished 11 points behind United in the Premier League last season and bottom of their Champions League group will, City’s new manager believes, deliver a genuine challenge on both fronts in his debut campaign in charge.
“Everyone knows that when you arrive at a club like Manchester City you must win titles,” said Pellegrini. “Manchester City have invested a lot of money to improve the squad every year and to try and win titles every year. They were not successful in some titles [last season] but I’m sure next year we can win maybe the Premier League and Champions League. We will try to win it all.”
Pellegrini will officially commence work at Carrington on 24 June. He will bring three members of his back-room team from Malaga to Manchester – long-time assistant Ruben Cousillas, the goalkeeping coach Xabier Mancisidor and fitness coach Jose Cabello – and has confirmed that Mancini’s former assistant, Brian Kidd, will remain on the coaching staff.
“It is very important for me that he stays,” said Pellegrini of Kidd who coached at Manchester United, Blackburn and Leeds before City. “I need him. He knows all about the club and the Premier League so it is very important he has agreed to stay with me. I’m really happy about that.
“It was not easy for him to finish the season after Mancini finished. He has a lot of experience in English football.”
Pellegrini has spent his 26-year managerial career in Spain, Chile, Ecuador and Argentina, where he won league titles with San Lorenzo and River Plate, but insists he will have no problems adapting to the Premier League.
Speaking in perfect English to City’s website, he said: “I’m 100 per cent sure I won’t have any problems being in the Premier League. “I’ve worked in four different countries and now England. I know a lot about the Premier League and I won’t have any problems in that sense. I will adapt.”
Pellegrini added: “ I am sure we can make a great management team to reach the targets that Manchester City want from the next few years. Also, I am sure, we have the best squad in the Premier League. We have wonderful players that can win important titles over the next three or four years.”