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Friday 15 December 2017

Manchester City 'monitor' Diego Simeone as Manuel Pellegrini's future is thrown into doubt following recent slump

Failure to win a trophy this season could see Pellegrini pay the ultimate price

‘Diego Simeone winning La Liga with Atletico Madrid is the finest managerial feat in contemporary football’
‘Diego Simeone winning La Liga with Atletico Madrid is the finest managerial feat in contemporary football’
Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini saw his team drop two points against Hull

Manuel Pellegrini could pay the price in the summer if Manchester City’s alarming slump doesn’t pick up, with the Premier League club monitoring Atletico Madrid head coach Diego Simeone should they decide the time is right for change.

It took a James Milner free-kick in the final minute of regular time to salvage a 1-1 draw with Hull, but the result means City are now winless in their last five matches and have slipped seven points behind league leaders Chelsea.

Pellegrini’s cause has not been helped by the fact that the reigning English champions have already crashed out of both domestic cups, having lost to Newcastle in the Capital One Cup fourth round in October and a shock FA Cup exit at the hands of Middlesbrough last month.

Success in the Champions League would clearly be enough to save the Chilean manager, but City face the unenviable task of taking on Barcelona in the last 16, with all signs showing that the Catalans’ mid-season slump is over and they are back to their almighty best.

That leaves the Premier League as their only realistic chance of silverware this season, and according to the Daily Mail, failure to beat Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea could see the axe fall on Pellegrini’s head just a year after securing the title.

Pellegrini’s future appears bleaker by the day given City’s concerning run, and it’s not helped in the slightest by Simeone’s achievements in Spain that continues to see his stock soar. Having stunned Real Madrid and Barcelona by beating them to the La Liga title last season, Simeone masterminded one of the heaviest defeats Real have suffered for some time, with Atletico running out 4-0 winners in Saturday’s Madrid derby.

City’s players are showing signs that the morale among the squad is low, especially as a side that has been used to winning over the years has not tasted victory since the 04 January FA Cup victory over Sheffield Wednesday – and they’ve been eliminated from the tournament since then.

Milner admitted after the draw with the Tigers that City face a difficult task to retain their Premier League crown, and said they must be “pretty faultless” if they’re to beat the Blues to the title.

"We can't really afford too many more slip-ups, if any,” said Milner. “Chelsea have a big lead now but it's down to us to see how many points we can get.

"We know, more than anyone, you have to keep going to the death and anything can happen, but I think we have got to be pretty faultless between now and the end of the season to get close."

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