• Premier League

Pellegrini confirms Malaga departure

ESPN staff
May 22, 2013

Manuel Pellegrini says he is leaving Malaga at the end of the season to take charge of a club where he can fulfill his sporting ambitions.

Pellegrini is widely expected to be named the new Manchester City manager in the coming weeks, but neither he nor the Premier League side have yet confirmed this.

The Chilean coach was speaking at a civil ceremony on Wednesday morning where he was awarded a gold medal for his services to province of Malaga. These services have included qualifying Los Boquerones for a first ever Champions League campaign, and also maintaining his dignity when financial and moral support from the club's erratic Qatari owner Abdullah Al-Thani dried up.

Sunday's Primera Division game at home to Deportivo la Coruna would therefore be a chance for him to say goodbye to Boquerones fans after almost three rollercoaster seasons in charge, Pellegrini said.

"Professionally, I am living my final hours in Malaga," he said. "On Sunday I will take charge of my last game as Malaga coach at La Rosaleda. It will be very emotional, and we expect to leave the club qualified for Europe, with the mission completed and with the misfortune that the project changed."

The former Villarreal and Real Madrid boss did not say what his next step in football would be, but suggested he had already agreed to take charge of a new club where he would have to deal with less off-field strife.

"The agreement with the club has been satisfactory and is appreciated," Pellegrini said. "Each person has the right to keep to his own path. I am not leaving for financial reasons, but to a sporting project which allows me to feel fulfilled."

An eventful morning on the Costa del Sol also saw Malaga receive confirmation from UEFA that the second suspended year of the club's European ban had been lifted, leading director general Vicente Casado to predict the entire suspension will be thrown out by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) next month.

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