It's Pellegrini time

Posted by Simon Curtis

After weeks of excruciating speculation, piece by piece the puzzle is beginning to be put together. After a scare over the weekend, when the Portuguese football press stated that FC Porto had lodged a firm proposal with the Chilean's agents and were more than hopeful that he would see worth in their own football project, it seems that the man City had set their sights on some months ago is about to step out of the shadows and confirm his next place of employment will indeed be northwest England.

- Pellegrini in 'verbal agreement' with City
- Isco keen to follow Pellegrini


It has been widely reported that Manuel Pellegrini, a man of honour and one who remains true to his word, would not talk on this subject until season's end with his current club Malaga. It appears also that he did not want to talk about offers from other clubs, such as this one from FC Porto, because of a verbal agreement already in place to come to City. Being a man of his word, Pellegrini appears to have been more than content to stick to his first decision, despite a growing list of admirers as the season has come to an end and various clubs have dispatched underperforming coaches.

To those thousands of City fans who have watched anxiously for real signs of a commitment, that is now at hand. Jesus Martinez, Pellegrini's agent, has said that his client's next port of call will be Manchester City. The Chilean himself has uttered the words that the fans have been waiting to hear: "I have a verbal agreement with City. I hope to sign very soon …" Music to the ears of those who have listened to rumour and counter-rumour since Roberto Mancini's dramatic departure after the Cup final. With the fans' heartfelt farewell to the Italian sealed with yesterday's Gazetta dello Sport advertisement (to which this correspondent readily contributed), eyes and minds turn to his successor, the man who ADUG believe can take City on toward the very ambitious targets mentioned by Ferran Soriano to the backdrop of New York's Manhattan skyline.

With Pellegrini edging toward the well-trodden welcome mat at the Etihad, another rumour of the past days will be revisited: that of Malaga playmaker Isco and his apparently imminent transfer to Real Madrid. The sports paper Marca, Real's mouthpiece in Spain, offered the news that Real had met with Isco's agent and father, letting it be known that another hero of the fatherland was about to land feet first on the plush Bernabeu turf, but subsequent utterings from the player himself paint a different picture. "If Mr. Pellegrini, my football mentor, wants me, I would be more than happy to follow," he has said. Let it be said at this juncture, from supporters who have this week learned how to communicate very successfully through the continental press, that the gathered support of Manchester City would be more than delighted to welcome both men to sunny Manchester. We await developments with bated breath.

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