Updated: Friday, 10th July 2020 @ 2:49pm

‘Most important thing is to beat United’: Battle of Manchester begins in City boss Pellegrini’s first media show

‘Most important thing is to beat United’: Battle of Manchester begins in City boss Pellegrini’s first media show

By Ben Southworth

Manuel Pellegrini specifically targeted Manchester United as the team to beat next season and promised bold, attacking football in his first official press conference as Manchester City manager.

The Chilean, nicknamed ‘the Engineer’, went as far as to say that it was his attacking philosophy that led Manchester City to opt for him as a replacement for Mancini, whose side struggled for goals last season.

Pellegrini said: “One of the important reasons I'm here is the way my teams have always played. We are going to play an attractive game, always in the oppositions half, always an attacking team.

"I think that the Premier League is so important, as is the Champions League.

“I know the last two years weren't good for Manchester City in Europe, but I'll try to change that."

Pellegrini’s European prowess is surely one of the qualities that attracted the City hierarchy to him.

Last season his inexperienced Malaga team were only minutes, and a better refereeing decision, away from a berth in the Champions League semi-finals.

However, the Blues’ new boss has more immediate priorities before considering how best to mount an assault on Europe.

Following the departure of Tevez to Juventus, City will leave for their pre-season tour this evening with only two established strikers – Aguero and Dzeko.

Pellegrini said: “I spoke with Carlos a couple of weeks ago and I feel he didn't want to stay here anymore.

“He was very clear to tell me. It was the best choice for him and the club. We have two strikers at the moment and we need another one."

City have been linked with Sevilla’s Alvaro Negredo in the past week, however the Spanish forward’s club are insistent that they are yet to receive a formal offer.

One player that has arrived is Fernandinho, from Shakhtar Donetsk, and the midfielder is looking forward to life with the Blues.

He said: “Manchester City is considered one of the best clubs in the world. I have come to win as many medals and trophies as possible. That is my main aim.

"I want to play well and if I give good performances then I think the fans will like me."

United, along with Chelsea, are likely to prove the biggest obstacle preventing the Premier League title from returning to the blue half of Manchester – meaning the intra-city rivalry will be more important than ever this year.

Pellegrini, seemingly opening up this season’s war of words, said: "I know the most important thing for City fans is to beat United.

“I'm sure we will do it and this year, the same as other years, we will be on top of United.”

"I also played United twice with Villarreal in the Champions League, in 2006 and 2009, and both times we qualified for the last 16 and they didn't."

Image courtesy of SNTV, via YouTube, with thanks. 

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