Pablo Zabaleta says the Manuel Pellegrini style of football is 'great'

The Chilean is expected to replace Roberto Mancini

Pablo Zabaleta believes Manuel Pellegrini could be a great manager for Manchester City.

The City defender has long known of Pellegrini's reputation having been a junior at Argentinian club San Lorenzo when the Chilean was first-team boss.

Pellegrini is widely expected to be named as replacement for the sacked Roberto Mancini at the Etihad Stadium after it was confirmed he is to leave Malaga at the end of the Spanish season.

Zabaleta, 28, speaking in New York on City's post-season tour, said: "I have never worked under Pellegrini before, when he was at San Lorenzo I was in the second team.

"I don't know him as a person but he did well at Real Madrid, Villarreal and Malaga.

"We will see if Pellegrini signs for Manchester City.

"His way to play football is great. Somebody told me he is a great manager so we will wait to see what happens.

"Hopefully if he comes to City he can just carry on with his football."

Pellegrini potentially moved a step closer to City when Malaga announced he would leave La Rosaleda after their final two Primera Division games.

The 59-year-old did have two years remaining on his contract but he and the club both cited "sporting reasons" for his departure.

Pellegrini added: "Everyone has the right and obligation to follow their chosen path, and Malaga must do the same.

"The club requires a realistic project next season.

"Malaga had a past without Manuel Pellegrini, and will also have a future without Manuel Pellegrini."

Pellegrini oversaw unprecedented success at Villarreal by guiding them to a Champions League semi-final in 2006 and second place in La Liga in 2008.

He then had a single season in charge at Real Madrid before taking over at Malaga, whom he steered to the last eight of the Champions League this year.

Pellegrini's European record would be an attraction to City, who conspicuously failed to achieve on that stage under Mancini.

Zabaleta believes he would also bring a positive style of play to the club.

He said: "He likes to play attractive football.

"What I saw with Malaga, whenever they played they played to win.

"This is something important for a top team. Wherever you go to play, you play to win."

Zabaleta also knows there will be an onus on the players to respond to the new man.

He said: "Whoever is the manager, players need to work hard.

"When a new manager comes in you need to show you want to keep your place in the team and I am sure we will do in the pre-season."

PA

 

News
people
Life and Style
healthMovember isn't about a moustache trend, it saves lives
News
people
Life and Style
food + drinkFrom Mediterranean Tomato Tart to Raw Caramel Peanut Pie
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Armstrong, left, and Bain's writing credits include Peep Show, Fresh Meat, and The Old Guys
TVThe pair have presented their view of 21st-century foibles in shows such as Peep Show and Fresh Meat
Arts and Entertainment
Keys to success: Andrew and Julian Lloyd Webber
arts + entsMrs Bach had too many kids to write the great man's music, says Julian Lloyd Webber
Arts and Entertainment
Hand out press photograph/film still from the movie Mad Max Fury Road (Downloaded from the Warner Bro's media site/Jasin Boland/© 2014 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)
films'You have to try everything and it’s all a process of elimination, but ultimately you find your path'
Extras
Boys to men: there’s nothing wrong with traditional ‘manly’ things, until masculinity is used to exclude people
indybest13 best grooming essentials
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films
books

New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site on Friday

News
Russia Today’s new UK channel began broadcasting yesterday. Discussions so far have included why Britons see Russia as ‘the bad guy’
news

New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain

Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch at the premiere of The Imitation Game at the BFI London Film Festival
filmsKeira Knightley tried to miss The Imitation Game premiere to watch Bake Off
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

Bryan Adams' heartstopping images of wounded British soldiers to go on show at Somerset House

Bryan Adams' images of wounded soldiers

Taken over the course of four years, Adams' portraits are an astonishing document of the aftermath of war
The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities