Manuel Pellegrini reveals Manchester City deal is agreed despite interest from PSG

Malaga coach admits he has made a verbal agreement to take over at the Etihad Stadium

Madrid

Manuel Pellegrini claims he has agreed to take over as manager of Manchester City at the end of the season and just needs to put pen to paper on his new contract to finalise the move. The 59-year-old Chilean coach also confirmed in an interview with Malaga's Canal Sur radio station that he had chosen City over Paris Saint-Germain despite strong interest from the French club.

City are likely to wait for Malaga, his Spanish club, to play their last game of the season away to Barcelona on Saturday before they officially announce his arrival, and Pellegrini said: "City have shown a lot of interest in me becoming their new coach. My agent has spoken at length with them. There is nothing signed still so I cannot say that I am their coach but I don't see that there will be any problems. I have a verbal agreement and I hope that it can be executed."

Asked about interest from other clubs, Pellegrini added: "PSG is a very important institution – one of the most important in Europe – and they put themselves in contact [with me] but the priority was to work with [Manchester City]."

A move to the Premier League will put Pellegrini up against one of his current La Liga foes, Jose Mourinho. The Chelsea-bound Real Madrid manager famously said he could not be compared to Pellegrini, his predecessor at Madrid, because if he was fired he would not "end up at Malaga".

But Pellegrini said: "If we meet again then there will be no problem with Mourinho. We are two very different people who just happen to do the same job. We have two different ways of behaving and of going about doing that job. I was proud to come to Malaga; it was one of the best decisions I have ever made."

Pellegrini's agent, Jesus Martinez, has also been instrumental in moving Malaga's 21-year-old Spain international Isco close to a move to City. Earlier this week the midfielder dismissed attention linking him with Real Madrid, saying: "My priority is to play. This is a very important decision for my future and I don't want to get it wrong. Pellegrini has been my footballing father and I know that he wants me in his new project and I would like to continue with him because he has always put his faith in me."

Former Villarreal coach Pellegrini, who also won the league in Argentina with both San Lorenzo and River Plate, does not want to be seen to be stealing away his current club's best player and was guarded in his appraisal of Isco's situation.

He said: "Wherever he [Isco] goes he will be a success. He has tremendous potential and I am happy that I was able to give him his chance in the first division. He will go as far in football as he wants to go."

Most Malaga supporters are resigned to losing their best player this summer. A banner unfurled at the team's last home game of the season read: "Isco, someone else will enjoy you next season; we will enjoy your triumphs from afar." The same applies to Pellegrini. Such is the depth of gratitude felt for the out-going coach that a roundabout near Malaga's La Rosaleda stadium is to be named after him. "I don't deserve it," he said, "the roundabout, the badge of merit [awarded to him last week by Malaga's town council] and the general affection of the people. I will never forget the send-off last week in the last home game or the minute's silence from the supporters against Osasuna in April after my father passed away."

Malaga's visit to Camp Nou at the weekend brings to an end their extraordinary season. "No one would have believed back in July we would have achieved the things we have achieved," Pellegrini said.

The club have finished in a Europa League position but have been handed a one-season ban by Uefa for outstanding debts, a penalty they are appealing against at the Court of Arbitration for Sport. A decision is expected at the start of June.

"I hope they lift the ban; they deserve it. The club has made an effort to put its finances in order," Pellegrini added.

Suggested Topics
Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm tomorrow
Arts and Entertainment
James May, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond in the Top Gear Patagonia Special
tv
News
Claudia Winkleman and co-host Tess Daly at the Strictly Come Dancing final
people
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice finalists Mark Wright and Bianca Miller
tvBut who should win The Apprentice?
News
news
Extras
indybest
News
Elton John and David Furnish will marry on 21 December 2014
peopleSinger posts pictures of nuptials throughout the day
Sport
Brendan Rodgers looks on from the touchline
SPORT
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
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

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick