Malaga are leading the race to sign injury-plagued striker John Guidetti on loan from Manchester City in January, Goal understands.
Mario Husillos, the Spanish club's sporting director, watched City's 2-1 victory over Liverpool on Boxing Day and held talks with Txiki Begiristain over Guidetti on Friday.
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Guidetti rose to prominence on loan at Feyenoord in the 2011-12 season, where he scored 20 goals in 23 appearances and notched hat-tricks against Twente, Ajax and Vitesse.
Injury deprived him of a place in the Sweden squad for Euro 2012 and has curtailed his progress since, and he is still yet to make a single senior appearance for City.
But the 21-year-old remains highly regarded by Pellegrini and his staff, who believe a run of matches between January and the summer will put him in a position to challenge for a first-team spot next season.
Real Betis, Wigan Athletic and Feyenoord have all enquired about the possibility of taking Guidetti on loan.
But Malaga and City enjoy a good relationship forged with the deal which brought Pellegrini to the Etihad Stadium in the summer and almost took Isco to Manchester.
Earlier this season the understanding between the clubs also helped City hijack Barcelona's move for Brahim Abdelkader, the 14-year-old sensation dubbed 'the new Messi'.