Sport

Pellegrini backs Guardiola as future Man City boss

Guardiola has been heavily linked with replacing Pellegrini at Man City
Guardiola has been heavily linked with replacing Pellegrini at Man City

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini is convinced Pep Guardiola will coach in the Premier League as speculation continues that the outgoing Bayern Munich boss could replace Pellegrini at the Etihad Stadium.

Guardiola is sure to be courted by a host of top clubs across Europe after it was announced on Sunday that he will be leaving Bayern at the end of the season, with the German champions already having lined up Carlo Ancelotti as his successor.

Chilean boss Pellegrini has no doubts that Guardiola will work in England at some stage and admits there is a possibility he could be a future City boss, with Chelsea and Manchester United also reported to be possible destinations for the former Barcelona coach.

"Pep Guardiola will work here (in England), I don't know if it is next season here (at City) or at another club. Some day he'll come here," he said in quotes reported by several national newspapers on Sunday.

"And I hope he will have the option to work at Manchester City. I say that because I love this club and I hope, in the future, he can work here also. I am sure he will be very important for the club."

Pellegrini still has 18 months left on his current City contract, with the team going well at home and in Europe. But he is experienced enough to know that the landscape can change very quickly, irrespective of the contract a manager is on.

"My contract showed that the club was happy and that I was happy, but sometimes you can have a contract for six or eight years and, at the end of the season, you don't continue anyway."

Pellegrini recognises his side's away form needs to improve as they prepare for a tough test against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Monday night.

City have struggled on their travels of late, not winning any of their last four matches on the road in the Barclays Premier League and failing to score in the last three of them.

It is something Pellegrini wants to put right quickly as three of his side's next four league games are away, as are the two after that in the domestic cup competitions.

Asked if away form needed to get better, Pellegrini said: "Yes - we have to play five of the next six games away. The last results of the games we played away were not as good as we want.

"It is a good target to try and continue to return to our clean sheets, and it is a good target to make an important advance in our position in the Premier League, but playing away is always a bit more difficult."

With a trip to another of the season's high-flyers Leicester on December 29 also among the sequence, the upcoming festive period has the feel of a critical period, but Pellegrini has played down its significance.

"They are important games but we are just in the first round (of fixtures). It is not just those two games," he said.

"After Arsenal, we have to play against Sunderland. We are going to continue with the Capital One Cup in January and start with the FA Cup.

"There are a lot of things we have to consider, and the most important thing is to think game by game and not what can happen in May. So, they are very important games but not decisive."

City hope to have leading striker Sergio Aguero back at the Emirates Stadium after four games out with a heel problem but captain Vincent Kompany is still sidelined by the calf injury that has kept him out for the past month.