The announcement of Pep Guardiola’s appointment by Manchester City had a negative impact on the team’s performances, outgoing manager Manuel Pellegrini said in an interview published on Monday.
City were second in the Premier League when Pellegrini revealed on February 1 that Bayern Munich coach Guardiola would be succeeding him, but finished fourth after winning only six of their last 15 games.
While Pellegrini succeeded in steering City to League Cup glory and into the Champions League semi-finals for the first time, he harbours regrets over his decision to make Guardiola’s appointment public.
“If I ask if I would do that again, I have some doubts,” Pellegrini told The Guardian. “I don’t want to use (this) as an excuse, but it was so difficult to work after that. Not for me, for the players.”
He added: “It was my decision. After Guardiola said he was coming to England, it was my decision because all the media was talking about Guardiola here, Guardiola in Arsenal, Guardiola in Manchester United.
“It was not fair for all managers, when everyone knew he was coming here.”
Pointing to the run of three straight league defeats that followed the announcement, Pellegrini said: “The most difficult thing in a group is when you break something.
“Something was broken in that moment so, as I say, the complete glass is broken.”
Pellegrini’s contract with City does not expire until June 30 and although the season is now over, he is continuing to work at the club’s training centre.
He has previously stated that he would prefer to remain in England, but he told The Guardian that if the right job does not come up, he could retire.
“If I don’t have a really interesting option I will stop until I find one,” said the 62-year-old Chilean, who led City to two Premier League titles and two League Cups during his three-year tenure.
“If I have to stop, I will stop. It can be now, (until) December, one year or forever. Of course, I would miss it. The challenge keeps me alive.”