Manuel Pellegrini believes the announcement of Pep Guardiola as Manchester City’s new manager effectively cost them the Premier League title.
City confirmed in early February that Guardiola would take over as manager next season, with Pellegrini’s men then going on to lose home games against title rivals Leicester City and Tottenham in the following two weeks.
Their poor run of form following the announcement saw City fall well behind Leicester in the title race, and Pellegrini has little doubt their slump was directly related to the news that the current Bayern Munich boss would make the move to Manchester.
“Of course for different reasons we lost important games in February, against Leicester and Tottenham, two games which do not allow us to be involved in the title,” the outgoing City manager said.
“It’s because between now and the end of May we need to play eight games in one month.
“I am frustrated because we never expected to lose those games at home against Leicester and Tottenham. But there are a lot of reasons why those things happened, it’s not normal in the way we are going to finish the season.
“At the start of February there was news about the change of the manager, about players who will not continue here next season, about a lot of things that involved the minds of all the players.
“It’s not easy for the players when you read in newspapers all things that will happen next season, all the players who will go out, all the players that will come in. It’s not easy for the players to focus their mind.”
City sit third in the Premier League table, trailing leaders Leicester by 13 points with five games left in their season.