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Ticket prices remain an issue


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Pellegrini denies Man City deal struck

Manuel Pellegrini has denied reports that he has agreed a deal to become Manchester City manager.

• Brewin: Mancini's defence weak

The Malaga coach has been increasingly strongly linked with a move to the Etihad Stadium since City - who lost their Premier League crown to rivals Manchester United - were beaten 1-0 by Wigan in the FA Cup final on Saturday.

City have done nothing to counter speculation that Mancini, who ended their long trophy drought with the 2011 FA Cup before clinching last season's league title, was on his way out.

But Chilean Pellegrini, who guided Malaga to the Champions League quarter-finals against a backdrop of financial uncertainty in their first season in the competition, denied reports in Spain that an offer from City had already been accepted.

Speaking after Malaga's 0-0 draw with Sevilla on Sunday, he said: "Today, I deny I am going to be the new manager of Manchester City.

"I have not signed an agreement with anyone - not with Manchester City, not with Roma, not with Napoli, not with PSG, not with any of the clubs who have been mentioned.

"Every year, I have had the possibility of major teams making an offer to me, and that is an honour.

"There are a lot of rumours. I hope that, in the next fortnight, there is a plan made for what is going to be done next year [at Malaga].

"I imagine there will be meetings in this break. I hope that the future can be planned out in this fortnight."

He said the Malaga coaching team and players were thinking only of qualifying for Europe, adding: "To overcome the trauma of being eliminated in the Champions League [by Borussia Dortmund in injury time] was not easy, but to qualify the team for the Europa League keeps us excited."

An angry Mancini said City should have acted to quell the rising speculation about his future, saying: "I don't know why the club hasn't stopped this, because it is not correct and I don't think it is true."

He said the reports were "rubbish... speculation and rubbish", insisting: "I will still be here next season. But if it is true, we will know in the next two weeks. If it isn't, this [the speculation] is stupid."

Earlier, Pellegrini had indicated that he, along with several of his key players, would be leaving Malaga in the summer as the club's financial turmoil continued.

"We are in unusual circumstances," he said. "I don't think any of us really want to leave Malaga. Everyone would prefer to stay but, unfortunately, the circumstances we are in don't allow that."

He said speculation about his future would not distract him, explaining: "Being linked to other clubs doesn't annoy me or make me feel uncomfortable."


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