Everton linked Manuel Pellegrini appears to have closed the door on a Premier League return, telling Real Betis’s official YouTube channel that he is excited to lead the club into Europe next season.
There won’t be too many tears flowing on the blue half of Stanley Park this morning.
At the age of 67, and following that dreadful spell at West Ham United, Pellegrini was not exactly the dream appointment in the eyes of many an Evertonian, especially when you consider there are so many exciting, up-and-coming tacticians on the market – see Erik Ten Hag, Graham Potter and more.
Pellegrini, a former Real Madrid manager who tasted Premier League glory with Manchester City, did offer a timely reminder of his abilities at Real Betis, however, taking Los Verdiblancos into the Europa League following an outstanding run of form in the second half of last season.
And one of the most experienced managers in the game is not planning to leave Betis in the lurch, with the prospect of continental competition at the Estadio Benito Villamarin an alluring one.
Is Everton-linked Manuel Pellegrini returning to the Premier League?
“It is exciting and demanding,” Pellegrini said when asked whether he is looking forward to the 2021/22 campaign in Seville.
“In my career I have been able to win titles in different countries, play in the Champions League and the Copa Libertadores”
“The challenge is next season. That is why I am still in this profession and I hope to continue for many more years. It motivates me, it entertains me, I don’t do it for money. I like challenges, something was achieved last season and now we are starting from scratch.
“We have a much more difficult season (coming up) than the previous one, against important and big teams. Nobody is going to accept that Betis only participate.”
Everton’s chances of luring Pellegrini to Merseyside already looked slim, with Betis making it clear that they had no plans to let the veteran tactician go.
Now, with the man himself breaking his silence, we can probably scrub his name off Farhad Moshiri’s shortlist for good.
Another 60-something veteran, Rafa Benitez, appears to be the number one candidate as it stands, although the prospective appointment of a Liverpool legend has split the Everton board down the middle.