Manuel Pellegrini is in confident mood ahead of the new season.
The Chilean was appointed as Manchester City coach in the summer, after Roberto Mancini failed to build on the dramatic title success of 12 months previous. In the end, the Blues finished 11 points behind rivals United, whilst they also lost the FA Cup final against Wigan Athletic, who were later relegated to the Championship.
Since then, City have added Fernandinho, Stevan Jovetic, Jesus Navas and Alvaro Negredo to their squad for a combined fee of around £90million. And with their title rivals seemingly struggling to land their own targets, Pellegrini is feeling confident that the title will be heading back to the Etihad Stadium in nine months’ time.
“I think we have the best squad in England,” said the former Malaga boss. “We bought four important players, we already had a very good team and with these four players I think we improved a lot. We hope that from the first match against Newcastle United at home we will start winning, and we will try to bring another trophy here.”
City are still expected to add to their options further before the window closes on 2 September. It would appear as though their main target would be a defender, following an injury to Mateja Nastasic. The young Serbian international was stretchered off with an ankle injury in last month’s Barclays Barclay’s Asia Trophy final against Sunderland in Hong Kong, and he is expected to be sidelined for up to six weeks.
Even before this setback, Pellegrini was linked with a move for Pepe, a player he worked with whilst in charge of Real Madrid from 2009-2010. The Portugal international, 30, remains under contract at the Bernabeu for another three years, and last week indicated that he was in no particular rush to quit the Spanish capital.
“I’m a professional. They left a lot of things at the end of last season but I have a contract to fulfil,” he said. “I’m talking to the president of Madrid and my representatives to see what will happen. I have a contract, I love the club and I have great affection for the people.”