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Pellegrini favourite for City job

Malaga coach Manuel Pellegrini is the favourite to replace Roberto Mancini at Manchester City.

• Gallery: Mancini at City Photo Gallery
• Marcotti: Mancini's halted progress at Man City
• Brewin: City make no case for Mancini's defence
• Pellegrini denies Man City deal is struck
• WhoScored: Stats support Mancini sacking
• Jolly: Man City gamble with Mancini sacking
• Curtis: Grazie Mille, Roberto

The dismissal of Mancini, whose position had been under scrutiny for several months, was finally confirmed on Monday night, two days after the club's FA Cup final defeat to Wigan Athletic.

Even before that result, the Italian had been widely expected to leave Eastlands, given the ease with which Manchester United reclaims the Premier League title and City's continued failure to make an impact in Europe, and reports in England and Spain have suggested Pellegrini has already agreed to replace him.

On Sunday, after Malaga had drawn 0-0 with Sevilla, Pellegrini had told the media: "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."

He maintained that his focus was on qualifying for next season's Europa League.

However, the Malaga Hoy newspaper reports that, just minutes after that denial on Sunday, the Chilean had met with Manchester City representatives at a popular restaurant in the Benalmádena. It is said to have been the third meeting between the two parties.

It is reported that, while he is happy at Malaga, Pellegrini has serious concerns about the economic stability of the club and is preparing to walk away from La Rosaleda.

Pellegrini's release clause with Malaga stands at €4 million.

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