Manuel Pellegrini set to open talks with Manchester City

Manuel Pellegrini claimed he is set to open negotiations with Manchester City after finishing the season with Malaga.

Pellegrini, 59, announced his intention to leave Malaga in May and has been strongly tipped to replace Roberto Mancini at the Etihad Stadium.

The Chilean, whose Malaga side were beaten 4-1 by Barcelona in his final game, will now begin talks with City.

Who is Manuel Pellegrini?

Manuel Pellegrini
  • A defender, Pellegrini spent his entire playing career at Universidad Chile, making more than 450 appearances
  • Retired in 1986 and took his first managerial role the following year at Palestino
  • Has taken charge of 10 teams in total including Villarreal (2004-09), Real Madrid (2009-10) and Malaga
  • Won league titles in Ecuador and Argentina and the Intertoto Cup with Villarreal in 2004

"I have an agreement to start conversations with Manchester City," Pellegrini said.

"Now the league is over we will start from Monday to look forward and to see where my future lies.

"Some rumours will be right, others won't, but I have kept my focus on Malaga until now."

Pellegrini has worked in Spain since he moved to Villarreal in 2004 and admits he will find it difficult to leave for another country.

He added: "It is going to be hard for me to leave Spain after nine years.

"It's a country that has treated me marvellously well. An important era of my life ends, and my future will surely take me to another country."

Manchester City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak has revealed the club are close to finding Mancini's successor.

Al Mubarak said: "We are pretty much done. We are very close."

Mancini was sacked with two games of the season remaining following City's FA Cup final defeat by Wigan in May.

City won the Premier League in 2012 but finished 11 points adrift of Manchester United this seasons and also failed to get out of the Champions League group phase for the second successive season.