Final season: Pellegrini will step down as manager in the summer

By London correspondent Tony Hughes

Manuel Pellegrini is on the long list of candidates to become the permanent Chelsea manager next summer, Football Insider sources understand.

The Premier League club have drawn up a list of possible targets to become the long-term boss when Guus Hiddink’s interim spell ends.

A Chelsea source has told Football Insider that the Manchester City manager is a surprise name among those being discussed as a replacement for Jose Mourinho, who was sacked last Thursday.

Pellegrini, whose team face Arsenal on Monday night in a top-of-the-table Premier League clash, is not expected to be at Etihad Stadium beyond this campaign.

City chiefs have offered Pep Guardiola a deal to make him the world’s best-paid manager and are increasingly confident he will accept.

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Bayern Munich confirmed on Sunday that the 44-year-old Spaniard has decided to end his three-year association with the club, and will be replaced by Carlo Ancelotti next summer.

In the merry-go-round of elite managers, Pellegrini will be available and is considered an attractive option by Chelsea.

He won a Premier League title and League Cup in his first season at Etihad Stadium, has significant Premier League experience, is used to dealing with top players and speaks good English.

The 62-year-old Chilean is also said to be open to staying in the Premier League beyond the end of the season.