Pellegrini refuses to be drawn on Guardiola job link

Ross McLean
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Manchester City FC v FC Bayern Muenchen - UEFA Champions League
Guardiola (left) has been heavily linked with the manager's position at the Etihad Stadium (Source: Getty)

Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini refused to be drawn on Pep Guardiola’s comments that his next managerial destination is set to be the Premier League as his side prepare for tonight’s Capital One Cup semi-final first leg against Everton.

Guardiola, who has announced his intention to leave Bayern Munich at the end of the season, has been heavily linked with the manager’s job at the Etihad Stadium, despite Pellegrini having a contract until the end of the 2016-17 campaign.

“I don’t have a reaction about that or feelings on other managers,” said Pellegrini yesterday.

The 62-year-old, however, was willing to discuss the sacking of Rafael Benitez from Real Madrid, who was replaced at the Santiago Bernabeu by World Cup winner Zinedine Zidane on Monday after only seven months in charge.

Pellegrini was sacked by Real in May 2010 after a solitary season in charge to make way for Jose Mourinho, despite accruing a then club record 96 points in finishing second to rivals Barcelona.

“I am sorry about Rafa Benitez because he’s a manager who deserves respect. But it’s not strange what happened at Real Madrid,” added Pellegrini.

A calf injury has sidelined striker Wilfried Bony for tonight’s Goodison Park clash, although the Ivory Coast forward is expected to return for Saturday’s FA Cup showdown at Norwich.