Manuel Pellegrini fully expects to be in charge of Manchester City next season, despite their poor defence of the Premier League title.
The Chilean was the toast of England last term when the led the Blues to the league crown and the League Cup in his debut season at the Etihad Stadium, but he has been unable to mount a serious challenge this time round. With just six fixtures of the season remaining, the champions are 12 points behind leaders Chelsea who also have a game in hand.
Pellegrini also failed to take City beyond the first knockout stage of the UEFA Champions League, whilst their defence of the League Cup was over in October when Newcastle United won in the blue half of Manchester for the first time in 12 attempts. Worse still, their FA Cup bid ended at the fourth round when Championship side Middlesbrough won at the Etihad.
All this has led to speculation surrounding the future of the former Malaga coach, something which has increased this week after Jurgen Klopp revealed he was leaving Borussia Dortmund at the end of the season. But despite the supposed uncertainty over his position, Pellegrini insists he still has the support of the club and fully expects to remain in the dugout next term.
“I am not thinking about next year,” he said. “I have a contract here for one year more and I’ll continue working because I know I have the support of the owners, the player and the fans. We need all of them behind the club. That’s why I don’t feel under any pressure about that. I don’t think about the future, I never think about the future I only think about the present.”
Rather than chasing what would have been a third title in four years, City now face a battle to finish in the top-four with Liverpool breathing down their necks. The Blues are currently just four points clear of their north west rivals, but can increase this lead at the weekend when they take on West Ham United at home whilst Brendan Rodgers’ side play Aston Villa in the FA Cup semi-final.
Meanwhile, Pellegrini has also reacted to speculation linking Yaya Toure with a move to Inter Milan during the summer. Former City boss Roberto Mancini is back in charge of the Italian giants, and is said to have made the 31-year-old Ivory Coast international his top target. However, the current Etihad Stadium coach fully expects the midfielder to remain in Manchester.
“I repeat we are not talking about that,” he added ahead of the visit of Sam Allardyce’s side on Sunday afternoon. “Yaya Toure is a very important player for our team. Maybe all of you are waiting for me to criticise him or sacrifice him. Yaya Toure will continue playing here because he is a very important player for me and the squad and the City fans and for everyone.”