Pellegrini tipped for City job - reports
Manuel Pellegrini is being strongly linked with a move to replace Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini, with Spanish newspaper AS claiming a deal has been struck for the experienced Malaga boss to take over at the Etihad Stadium.
The Independent, Guardian and Sun newspapers are also reporting that Pellegrini is in line to succeed Mancini, with the reports certain to infuriate the City boss ahead of Saturday's FA Cup Final against Wigan at Wembley.
Several bookmakers in England have reported a flood of "unusual" bets being placed on Pellegrini taking charge of the 2012 Premier League champions, yet representatives of the former Real Madrid manager and City officials have both refused to be drawn on the speculation.
Mancini admitted on Friday that his future could be on the line after City surrendered the Premier League title to local rivals Manchester United in such conclusive fashion this season, as he fears FA Cup success may not be enough to keep him in a job.
"I won seven trophies in four years at Inter Milan and they sacked me after four years, this is football," said Mancini. "I know football enough to understand this.
"In this moment, it's better that we think about the final. After we have time to talk about everything. I want only to do my job well if it's possible and continue to win every year. This is my target.
"I don't have other situations where I want to improve. It's important for every club to have a manager who can take a lot of decisions about the team, but now it's important we win this trophy. The FA Cup is important for every club."
Mancini has been linked with moves to Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and Monaco in recent days, but many City fans will be surprised by speculation over his future just hours before a major Wembley final.