Manuel Pellegrini rejected Manchester City in 2007

Pellegrini rejected Man City in 2007
© PA Photos
New Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini reveals that he turned down the opportunity to manage the club six years ago when he was in charge of Villarreal.

New Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini has revealed that he turned down the opportunity to manage the club six years ago.

While at Villarreal, the 59-year-old was approached by former City owner Thaksin Shinawatra in 2007, but the Thai business tycoon eventually appointed Sven-Goran Eriksson.

Pellegrini, who was confirmed as Roberto Mancini's replacement at the Etihad Stadium last month, also claims that he came close to joining Premier League rivals Liverpool in 2010.

"I had twice chances to arrive here before," Pellegrini told reporters. "One was to Manchester City, but with the other owners, not these owners.

"Liverpool, I was very near, after Real Madrid, to arrive at Liverpool.

"But for different things, it was not the moment. Now it is the right moment with the right club."

Pellegrini will take charge of City for the first time on Sunday, when his side face Supersport United in the Nelson Mandela Football Invitational.

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