Manchester City have delivered a damning assessment of Manuel Pellegrini’s last season in charge at the Etihad, according to the Mirror.
The Manchester hierarchy conducted their annual post-season assessment while Pep Guardiola was preparing Bayern Munich for the German Cup Final against rivals Borussia Dortmund.
It is believed the City board would still have asked Manuel Pellegrini to leave even if Guardiola had rejected the chance to manage them from next season.
And as a result, Guardiola will now be handed a blank cheque to recruit the kind of stellar players that will enable City to dominate at home and in Europe.
The Mirror reports that there is disbelief in City’s corridors of power that the 62-year-old’s team only just scraped into the Premier League’s top four on goal difference, following more than £150million lavished on new players last summer.
After finishing eight points behind Chelsea last year, the requirement was for Pellegrini to mount a sustained title challenge, as well as progressing in the Champions League and domestic cup competitions.
City reached the semi-finals of Europe’s top club tournament and also lifted the Capital One Cup.
But finishing 15 points adrift of Premier League champions Leicester is being viewed as an unacceptable failure, given that Pellegrini’s squad was bolstered by the arrival of Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling, Nicolas Otamendi and Fabian Delph.
A City insider said: “To finish so far behind Leicester, having made such a huge investment in the squad, was unacceptable.
“We made great strides in Europe and also won a trophy, but the belief was that, if we didn’t win the title, then we would certainly go much closer than the previous season.
“Fifteen points is a huge gap – and, for that, the manager has to accept full responsibility given the quality of the squad at his disposal.”