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Transfer Rater: Eriksen to Barcelona

Football Whispers

Pellegrini free to leave Malaga

Marca journalist Juan Castro believes Malaga head coach Manuel Pellegrini would be the perfect candidate to replace Roberto Mancini as Manchester City manager.

Manuel Pellegrini has been told he is free to leave Malaga at the end of the season according to reports in Spain, with the club confirming his €4 million buy-out clause will be waived.

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Andalucian paper Diario del Sur claimed on Wednesday that Pellegrini's agent Jesus Martinez had negotiated a deal so that the Chilean coach, who has two years left on his contract, can leave on June 30 without any new club paying the €4 million release clause. "Manuel Pellegrini will leave Malaga, barring a miracle being produced," the paper said.

That is being reported as confirmed on Wednesday morning with the Chilean expected to be named as Roberto Mancin's successor at the Etihad at the end of the Spanish season on June 1.

AS say that Isco could potentially follow Pellegrini to City, who say Monaco's interest in the player has accelerated City's talks with the Boquerones starlet, with sporting director Txiki Begiristain having already agreed terms with his representatives, although Malaga are holding out for the €35 million price included in the contract signed earlier this year.

Meanwhile, Malaga's chances of playing in Europe next season have been given a boost after the Spanish FA [RFEF] granted the club a licence to play in European competition next season.

Clubs are only supposed to get the green light from their national federations if they have settled all debts by December 31 of the previous year. A Malaga 'source' told El Pais the RFEF decision showed their appeal of their current one year UEFA ban - imposed due to "financial irregularities" - would now be overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport [CAS] on June 4.

"This is good news for our interests, which shows that we have fulfilled [their obligations] and that the appeal we have presented to the CAS has all the sense in the world," the source said. "Malaga fulfils all the requirements to play in Europe."

More 'sources' told Marca that planning for next season is already under way at Malaga, with four players having agreed to join, and interest in both Giovanni dos Santos [whose Spurs contract ends this summer] and his brother Jonathan dos Santos [who has rarely played all season at Barcelona]. This planning would also reportedly include exits for current high-earners including Joaquin Sanchez and Jeremy Toulalan, who have been linked with moves to Russia and Atletico Madrid.

Real Betis and Sevilla were also given the all clear for Europe by the RFEF, even though Betis remain in administration under Spain's Ley Concursal and Sevilla president Jose Maria del Nido has admitted players have not always been paid in full and on time recently. Rayo Vallecano and Espanyol were denied a licence, but both clubs may appeal the decision.


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