Manuel Pellegrini has arrived in London for talks about taking over at West Ham, with Hammers bosses confident of appointing the former Manchester City and Real Madrid manager this week.
Pellegrini, 64, has left Hebei China Fortune, the Chinese Super League club he took over at following his departure from the Etihad Stadium in 2016, ahead of a return to the Premier League.
The Chilean’s arrival at the London Stadium will mean a reunion with Pablo Zabaleta, a regular under Pellegrini at City – but another familiar face could also join them.
According to Jason Burt of the Telegraph, Pellegrini taking over will ‘increase the likelihood’ of Yaya Touré, who is out of contract in June, joining West Ham as a free agent.
35-year-old Touré previously held talks with Hammers chiefs when his City future was in doubt, but his wage demands were prohibitive. Considering he’ll now be out of contract and is adamant about remaining in England, West Ham may now be able to finance a deal easier and reunite Yaya with Zaba and Pellegrini.
The best career of Touré’s career came under the tutelage of Pellegrini when he was the standout performer in City’s double-winning 2013/14 season, where he managed an astonishing 20 goals and 9 assists in the league alone.
With confirmation of Yaya’s exit, a fitting time to remind people just how ridiculously great he was in 2013/14. pic.twitter.com/TAHcUMQOXS
— City Watch (@City_Watch) May 4, 2018
One player who won’t be joining this potential reunion in London is Joe Hart, with West Ham deciding not to trigger their option to buy him after the season on loan.
Hart, who remains under contract at the Etihad for one more year, is said to be attracting interest from Southampton and newly-promoted Wolves.
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manuel pellegrini, pablo zabaleta, yaya toure