Manchester City plan to increase capacity at the Etihad Stadium but must wait for Manuel Pellegrini

Extra tier for 6,000 fans will expand stadium to the third biggest in the Premier League

Manchester City will announce plans for a £50m investment to expand their stadium capacity by 6,000, with an option to go even bigger, as they continue negotiations to bring the Chilean Manuel Pellegrini in as successor to Roberto Mancini, The Independent can reveal.

Pellegrini's appointment is neither imminent nor a done deal, despite reports from Spain that he is leaving Malaga to join City on a two-year contract. But City are confident the 59-year-old will join them and are also preparing to build on a high volume of sell-outs at the Etihad by adding a third tier to their South Stand, taking the capacity to 54,000 – leapfrogging Newcastle and Sunderland to command the third highest capacity in the Premier League, after Manchester United and Arsenal.

Subject to consultation with the local community in east Manchester, a planning application will be submitted in the autumn which may also include proposals to expand the north side of the ground. That could see the stadium capacity reach closer to Arsenal's 60,300.

City's feasibility studies for ways of expanding their ground have included an analysis of lifting off the roof and creating an entire new tier to boost capacity to over 70,000, hugely increasing match-day income. But a more organic type of development – increasing the stadium bit by bit – is considered the best way to accommodate new capacity as the club's growth brings in more fans. The stand, scheduled to open in the summer of 2015 and subject to public consultation work which begins next month, will accommodate a substantial number of far lower priced tickets season tickets costing under £300. The reorganisation of the ground will also see away fans moved – something City fans have been asking for over a number of years.

The plans, scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2015 and subject to public consultation which begins next month, include lower-priced season tickets costing under £300. Tickets sold on match days will make up the rest of the extra capacity which the club does now need. Some hospitality sales will also be taken up in the new tier, which the club will show has been drawn up in keeping with the rest of the 11-year-old stadium.

The Etihad, which was designed by architects Arup for the 2002 Commonwealth Games, has a capacity of 47,805 and the extra tier will take it well above Liverpool and Chelsea, other clubs who desperately need a way of increasing match-day revenues but do not have the room to expand that City enjoy.

City require the team to develop even more radically than their stadium as they seek to boost their domestic and global following to a level where they would be capable of filling a 70,000-seat facility like Manchester United. They are some way off that at this stage. Though the dismissal of Mancini on Sunday, announced late on Monday, has been met with fierce criticism, there is a deep conviction at City that changing managers is the right course of action.

It remains difficult to find any players to contradict the more readily available impression that Mancini was unpopular. The Independent's attempts to locate one drew another blank. It seems significant that even the club captain, Vincent Kompany, an articulate and prolific user of social media, has offered no comment or good wishes towards Mancini.

Malaga's two remaining La Liga fixtures, at home to Deportivo on 26 May and away to Barcelona on 1 June, are limiting City's ability to deliver Pellegrini, with the Spanish club still seeking a Europa League place. The attempt to recruit the Chilean was said last night to remain "absolutely, certainly not, a done deal".

A two-year contract would give Pellegrini significantly less security than Mancini's most recent five-year deal, indicating that City want to see how the appointment pans out rather than making an emphatic statement of intent. Because of Malaga's Champions League ban for next season and Rayo Vallecano's failure to secure a Uefa licence, La Liga's ninth-placed club could qualify for the Europa League. Malaga are sixth, seven points clear of ninth-placed Getafe.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Isis in Syria: Influential tribal leaders hold secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over possibility of mobilising against militants

Tribal gathering

Influential clans in Syria have held secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over the possibility of mobilising against Isis. But they are determined not to be pitted against each other
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians
Dozens of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen linked to Indian bribery scandal die mysteriously

Illnesses, car crashes and suicides

Dozens of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen linked to Indian bribery scandal die mysteriously
Srebrenica 20 years after the genocide: Why the survivors need closure

Bosnia's genocide, 20 years on

No-one is admitting where the bodies are buried - literally and metaphorically
How Comic-Con can make or break a movie: From Batman vs Superman to Star Wars: Episode VII

Power of the geek Gods

Each year at Comic-Con in San Diego, Hollywood bosses nervously present blockbusters to the hallowed crowd. It can make or break a movie
What do strawberries and cream have to do with tennis?

Perfect match

What do strawberries and cream have to do with tennis?
10 best trays

Get carried away with 10 best trays

Serve with ceremony on a tray chic carrier
Wimbledon 2015: Team Murray firing on all cylinders for SW19 title assault

Team Murray firing on all cylinders for title assault

Coaches Amélie Mauresmo and Jonas Bjorkman aiming to make Scot Wimbledon champion again
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Vasek Pospisil must ignore tiredness and tell himself: I'm in the quarter-final, baby!

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

Vasek Pospisil must ignore tiredness and tell himself: I'm in the quarter-final, baby!
Ashes 2015: Angus Fraser's top 10 moments from previous series'

Angus Fraser's top 10 Ashes moments

He played in five series against Australia and covered more as a newspaper correspondent. From Waugh to Warne and Hick to Headley, here are his highlights
Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high