Amidst chairman Khaldoon-al-Mubarak’s proclamation that Manuel Pellegrini is expected to win every trophy available at Manchester City, there is little doubt that the Chilean is walking into a pressure-cooker situation at the Etihad Stadium.
But the outgoing Malaga chief is ready to meet his monumental challenge head-on, and is prepared to splash the cash en route to a serious tilt at regaining the Premier League title, for which they are 2/1.
Sevilla winger Jesus Navas is Pellegrini’s initial prime target, and one of a number of players the 59-year-old hopes to bring with him from La Liga.
High on Real Madrid’s wanted list too, 27-year-old Navas was thought to be all but confirmed as a Santiago Bernabeu player, with the pacy wide-man believed to be keen to remain in his native Spain.
But with uncertainty surrounding the Los Blancos managerial post, Navas is thought to be coming round to the idea of linking up with Pellegrini and testing his mettle abroad.
Indeed, the Spanish international has been flattered by the new City boss’s will to make him his first landmark Sky Blues signing, and is excited by the prospect of challenging for silverware across all fronts next term.
Also, in spite of the wealth of squad depth that the Citizens possess, Navas would be assured of more playing time at the Etihad than he would if making a move to Los Merengues.
And this factor more than any other could convince another player to swap Malaga for City with Pellegrini, in the form of 21-year-old playmaker Isco.
The highly regarded Spain starlet is keen to continue playing regularly in order to aid his development, and will be assured that opportunity by Pellegrini, who has nurtured his emergence into first-team football.
Given Sevilla’s financial plight, and the fact that Navas is available for a knockdown £15m fee, Pellegrini will have vast funds remaining to tie up a deal for Isco, and could do for around £30m.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.