Pellegrini: ‘Messi link is normal’

Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini says it is normal his club is linked with Lionel Messi and the world’s best players.

Speaking to Onda Cero’s ‘Al Primer Toque’ programme, the Chilean claimed it is the financial clout of the Premier League that sees its clubs continually suggested as possible destinations for the game’s star men.

“It’s normal to be linked with the best players on the market but sometimes those rumours come about because of personal interests and not because of the clubs,” maintained Pellegrini.

“It’s important to work at a club that has the ability to buy great players. In England 20 clubs have that opportunity whereas in Spain I think it is just three, maybe four with Valencia.

“That’s the big difference. During my 10 years in Spain I noticed how the ability to buy was gradually deteriorating.

“It widened for Barcelona and Real Madrid because the distribution [of money] is too different between some clubs and others.

“In 2004 Valencia had a better squad than Madrid, but that’s not true today. Atletico also had a great team, as did Sevilla, and at that time any of six sides could have won La Liga.”

Pellegrini went on to reflect on his time in charge at Real Madrid and rued the fact Cristiano Ronaldo spent part of the season on the sidelines.

“He has been at Madrid six years and the two months he was injured coincided with when I was there. If not, we’d have won the League as we were only one point away from Barca until the final day of the season.

“But these are past times that I don’t like referring to, not because it hurt as I don’t hold a grudge against anyone. I left there with pride because in a poll 78 per cent of fans wanted me to stay.

“We had a bad Champions League campaign and the squad was restructured in a way different to what I expected, but all of that opened the doors for me to go to Malaga and now to City.”

Finally, the 61-year-old spoke of the recent rumours linking him with the boss’s role at Barcelona.

“I’m happy here. I have one more year at City and I treat all the rumours as speculation that arises in this profession,” he explained.

Tags Manchester City Messi Pellegrini