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Football | Spain

Manuel Pellegrini © Action Images

Pellegrini criticises Malaga hierarchy



Outgoing Malaga coach Manuel Pellegrini told a Spanish newspaper on Thursday that the La Liga club hadn't taken the "most correct path" from a sporting perspective this season.

Pellegrini, who on Wednesday admitted to having a verbal agreement with English Premier League side Manchester City, is preparing for his final match in charge of the Andalusian outfit on Saturday when Malaga travel to champions Barcelona on the final day of the season.

"I think that these three years have been very good despite the difficulties we've had to overcome," Pellegrini, who took over in November 2010, was quoted as saying in Spanish daily "El Pais".

However, the 59-year-old was critical of the management of the club over the past season.

"I thank the owner (Sheikh Abdullah al-Thani) for the confidence he granted me, but in sporting terms Malaga haven't taken the best path and I could not continue to be a part of it," said Pellegrini.

"I had asked them that after the departures of (Santi) Cazorla and (Salomon) Rondon (last summer) that they not continue to dismantle the team. It's that after these two players, others like (Jeremy) Toulalan, Joaquin, (Martin) Demichelis or (Julio) Baptista would be sold...I recognise they listened to me, even if the project was finally sunk by the sale of (Nacho) Monreal during the winter transfer window," he explained.

After a committed recruitment drive during the 2011/12 season, Al-Thani effectively decided to pull the plug this term.

The club are also appealing a one-year ban from European competition to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) that Uefa imposed upon them in December for unpaid wages, having already seen the second season of that suspension lifted earlier this month after proving they had no outstanding debts to other clubs, employees or the tax authorities.

A decision from the CAS is expected to be announced on June 4.

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