Despite winning the Premier League title in 2014 and reaching the semi-final of the Champions League last season, many would argue that Manuel Pellegrini’s time at Manchester City was somewhat underwhelming.
His side barely scraped into the top four last season – and will still have to face a playoff to make the Champions League group stage – and it was no surprise when it was announced in February that he was to be replaced at the Etihad by Pep Guardiola.
Nonetheless, the former Real Madrid manager is still a wanted man, with a number of teams across Europe looking to bring him in.
Today, Spanish publication AS are reporting that the Russian national side have joined his list of suitors.
Russia were eliminated from Euro 2016 last night as a 3-0 destruction at the hands of Wales left them bottom of Group B. Indeed, their last-minute equaliser against England was the one bright spot on an otherwise dismal tournament campaign.
They had barely left the field when Leonid Slutsky confirmed his resignation as manager of the national side. The CSKA boss, who had been combining both roles since replacing Fabio Capello midway through the Euro 2016 qualification campaign, had always been expected to step down once Russia’s involvement in France was over, but he was still quick to draw a line completely under any notion he that he might look to carry on.
The AS report alleges that Pellegrini has been offered a deal that would see him prepare the Russian national side for, as well as during, the 2018 World Cup which is due to be held on home soil.
Without the pressure of a qualification campaign, Pellegrini’s job for the next two years would be to bring through the next generation of talented Russian youngsters and ready them for competitive international football.
The 62 year old Chilean had been expected to continue managing in one of Europe’s top five leagues, even rejecting an offer from Russia already to replace Andre Villas-Boas at Zenit, but he is said to be giving serious consideration to accepting the Russian FA’s lucrative proposition.