Report: Sabella claims talks to replace Pellegrini at Man City

The former Argentina manager was World Cup runner-up in 2014.

The Manchester Evening News has reported that Alejandro Sabella, whose Argentina side were World Cup runners-up in Brazil last summer, has claimed he has been in contact with Manchester City about the manager's role.

Manuel Pellegrini's position has come under fire in recent weeks after the Chilean failed to build on last season's title win. City have slipped away from challenging Chelsea, who themselves have stuttered somewhat, and those dropped points see the Citizens heading into Sunday's derby clash at Old Trafford in fourth place.

The reports have emerged after Sabella asked Sao Paulo for extra time to consider their own offer of a role, citing talks with City as his reason, though some in the Brazilian media believe this may just be a bargaining chip for negotiating a better contract with the 

Sabella, who would have a good relationship with City's large Argentinian contingent, was also the man that made Lionel Messi captain of his country, and could possibly be a vital influence in any genuine attempt the club may have in recruiting the Barcelona superstar.

And notably, he took his country one step further than Louis van Gaal's Netherlands side, beating them on penalties in the semi-final.

Sabella is familiar to English football having spent a few years there in the later 1970s and early 80s. After spending a couple of seasons at Sheffield United, the Argentine switched to Leeds United for a year, before heading home to Estudiantes.

The Argentine club would be where Sabella would get his managerial break 20 years later, after various assistant manager jobs in international, South American and European football. He want domestic and continental titles during a two year spell, and took in a stop at Al-Jazira in the UAE before taking over the national team in 2011.

Though City are unlikely to make any snap decisions on Pellegrini before the end of the season, a bad result against Manchester United on Sunday could change things.

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