Pellegrini: Barcelona nearly hired me instead of Guardiola

The outgoing Malaga coach, who is in line to replace Roberto Mancini at Manchester City, insists he no longer has eyes for the Camp Nou job
Manchester City-bound Manuel Pellegrini has revealed he was almost hired by Barcelona instead of Pep Guardiola.

The Blaugrana went on to enjoy incredible success under the Spaniard - including two Champions League trophies - while Pellegrini spent a year in charge at Real Madrid before being ousted in favour of Jose Mourinho.

Pellergrini's reputation has grown since his move to Malaga in 2010 and ahead of his last game in charge of the Andalusians against Tito Vilanova's Barca, the Chilean has claimed the past few years could have turned out very differently for him and Guardiola.

"Before Pep Guardiola took charge of Barcelona, I was very close to signing," he told Television Nacional de Chile.

"I'm very happy that it isn't currently possible for me to manage Barcelona, because if it were, it would mean that Tito Vilanova was in poor health," he told the largest television network in his country.

Barca and Malaga's clash at Camp Nou kicks off at 18:00CET on Saturday.