Manuel Pellegrini next in line at Chelsea?

Having lost out on his number one target Pep Guardiola, rumours were abound last week that Roman Abramovic has sounded out a possible move for Malaga coach Manuel Pellegrini to become the next man to take a seat in the Stamford Bridge dugout.

Manuel Pellegrini this week watched on from the touchline as his Malaga side suffered a 1-0 defeat to Portuguese champions Porto in the first leg of the Champions League second round.

The 59-year-old Chilean has vast experience in Spain having led Villarreal to within a whisker of the Champions League final in 2006 and to a record second place finish in La Liga in 2008.

Pellegrini’s success with Villarreal resulted in his appointment as head coach of Spanish giants Real Madrid in 2009. Pellegrini achieved a record points total of 96 at the Bernabeu, however lost out on the La Liga title by 3 points, being trumped by rivals Barcelona. Subsequently, Pellegrini was sacked at the end of the season and replaced by former Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho.

That summer, Pellegrini accepted an offer to become boss of Malaga and led the club to their first Champions League qualification this season following a 4th place finish in La Liga.

Pellegrini’s agent this week claimed that Chelsea had declared an interest in his client, although there is believed to have been no official approach as of yet. Pellegrini’s success with Malaga has also rumoured to have attracted the interest of Italian side Roma, who recently relieved coach Zdenek Zeman of his duties.

Chelsea legend Jose Mourinho remains odds-on favourite to make a return to the Bridge this summer, however it remains to be seen whether Mourinho’s previously fructuous relationship with the Chelsea owner has been repaired.