Chelsea interim manager Rafa Benitez has admitted that he will leave the club at the end of the season, which leaves Roman Abramovich searching for his 10th manager in 10 seasons. Even though Real Madrid manager Mourinho remains the favourite to become the next Chelsea manager, Chelsea also have other names on the list like Malaga manager Manuel Pellegrini.
According to the Sun, Chelsea have started talks with Pellegrini and representatives from Malaga.
Chelsea, though, are not the only club to be interested in Pellegrini, as the likes of Roma and Manchester City are also interested according to his agent.
“If we have contacts with Roma, Chelsea and Manchester City, Manuel has a contract until June 2014 and a price of £3.5m. We must speak with Malaga about many things,” said agent Jesus Martinez.
The 59-year-old Chilean has managed three clubs in Europe, but they have all been in Spain. He has undoubted pedigree after having led Villarreal and Malaga to the latter stages of the Champions League when they were least expected to do so.
Villarreal reached the semifinals of the Champions League in 2005-06, while Malaga almost managed to repeat the feat this season.
However, his one-year spell at Real Madrid casts huge doubts over his abilities as a top-class manager. Pellegrini lasted less than a year at the Santiago Bernebeu after being appointed in June 2009. Of course, he had an astonishing 75% win percentage, but he had the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, and Kaka at his disposal.
His spell at Real Madrid was accompanied by embarrassing defeats against lower league opposition, while the club ended the season without any major trophies.
Of course, one can say that Chelsea are fast running out of good managers. He has proven to be successful at a small club with limited resources, but it is a different story at a big club. Chelsea fans can have reasons to be sceptical if he is appointed as the next Chelsea manager.