LONDON: Manuel Pellegrini has been confirmed finally as the new manager of Manchester City after signing a three-year contract.
The 59-year-old Chilean arrives from Spanish club Malaga and fills the role vacated by Italian Roberto Mancini who was dismissed just before the end of the Premier League season in which City finished runners-up to neighbours United.
A ‘delighted’ Pellegrini said: “The club has a clear vision for success both on and off the pitch and I am committed to making a significant contribution.”
Pellegrini led Malaga to this past season’s Champions League quarter-finals for the first time before they lost unluckily to Borussia Dortmund.Previously he was a central defender in Chile and then coach before moving to Spain with Villarreal and then Real Madrid in 2009.
Brian Kidd will remain on the coaching staff, with Ruben Cousillas joining as assistant manager, and goalkeeping coach Xabier Mancisidor and fitness coach Jose Cabello also part of the new backroom set-up. The trio worked under Pellegrini at Malaga.
In an interview with CityTV, he added: “Roberto [Mancini] did a great job here in Manchester, especially to win the title after so many years. We now start a new cycle. I had other important offers from important clubs. The most important thing for me is I am sure we can make a great management team.
“I’m sure we have the best squad in the Premier League, wonderful players and can win more titles in the next three or four years in Manchester.”
Speaking on the club’s two-match post-season visit to the US before Pellegrini’s appointment, City midfielder Samir Nasri felt the Chilean’s methods would translate well onto the pitch.
“All his teams play attractive football, that is what people want to see,” said the 25-year-old. “You pay for tickets to go to football to see something great, and he is the kind of manager who can do it.”
Pellegrini began his managerial career in South America before joining Spanish side Villarreal in 2004 and then moving to Real Madrid in 2009.
However, Pellegrini was dismissed after just one season at the Bernabeu as a team including new signings Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Xabi Alonso finished second in La Liga. Malaga named him as their new manager in November 2010.
He was heavily linked with the City job immediately following the dismissal of Mancini, who left after the Blues failed to retain the Premier League title and lost in the FA Cup final toWigan.
Assistant manager David Platt was among the members of Mancini’s backroom staff who departed in the wake of the Italian’s sacking.
Pellegrini is the third manager, after Mark Hughes and Mancini, to take charge of City under the ownership of the Abu Dhabi United Group. The club’s chief executive, Ferran Soriano, recently said that he wanted to win five trophies over the next five years.
City have already signed 28-year-old midfielder Fernandinho from Shakhtar Donetsk and winger Jesus Navas, 27, from Sevilla this summer.
Malaga have appointed another former Real Madrid coach, German Bernd Schuster, as Pellegrini’s replacement.