English Premiership

Pellegrini swats away Guardiola link

Manuel Pellegrini (AFP)
Manuel Pellegrini (AFP)

London - Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini insists he isn't worried about renewed speculation that Pep Guardiola is being lined up to take his job at the end of the season.

Guardiola is expected to announce on Sunday that he will leave Bayern Munich once the current campaign finishes and that has triggered a fresh stream of reports claiming City will try to hire the Spaniard.

The former Barcelona boss has been linked with City for several years and Pellegrini is adamant he won't let the latest stories distract him.

Asked on Friday if he was worried, the 62-year-old told reporters: "Absolutely not. I am not concerned about that. The only concern that I can have in my profession is to try and win the next game and to win the Premier League.

"That would be very successful, in three years, to win two Premier Leagues and be runner-up. Those are things that maybe I can worry about, not about speculation or rumour."

Pellegrini's most immediate concern is Monday's trip to title rivals Arsenal, with City, in third, trailing the Gunners by one point.

Pellegrini recognises the importance of the contest as City try to regain the title they last won under his leadership in 2014.

"It is not a decisive game because after that we have to play 21 games more - a lot of points - but it is important to demonstrate who is the best team of the first half of the season," Pellegrini said.

"It is important to play against the team who is one point above our team. So, it is a very important game. It is a game of six points."

City hope to have Argentina striker Sergio Aguero back at the Emirates Stadium after four games out with a heel injury.

"Kun is working with the squad. We will assess if he is 100 per cent or not but he is working without problems. I think he will be in the squad," Pellegrini said.

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