MOSCOW, June 24. /TASS/. Chilean professional football coach Manuel Pellegrini did not receive an offer from the Russian Football Union (RFU) to take helm of the Russian national football team, his agent Jesus Martinez told TASS on Friday.
A Spanish sports daily reported earlier in the week that Pellegrini had received an offer from the RFU to work as the head coach of the Russian national football team and the Chilean specialist was considering the proposal.
"The Russian Football Union did not make any offers to Pellegrini," Martinez said in an interview with TASS.
Nicknamed ‘The Engineer,’ 62-year-old Pellegrini has been the head coach of England’s Manchester City FC since 2013 leading the club to the Premier League’s champions title in the 2013/2014 season. The Chilean manager will be replaced after the end of the current season by Josep Guardiola.
Martinez announced in mid-April that Pellegrini considered Russia’s Zenit St. Petersburg FC as one of Europe’s top ten clubs and would be interested to work as the club’s head coach.
Last Monday the Russian national team lost to Wales 0-3 in its third group stage match of the 2016 UEFA Euro Cup and failed to qualify to the next round of Last 16 going back home instead. Head Coach Slutsky told a news conference after the match that someone else should take his place at the helm of the national squad.
Slutsky is also the head coach of the Russian CSKA Moscow football club, which he guided to the champion’s title in several seasons since taking charge of the club in October 2009. Last month he was named the country’s best coach after CSKA Moscow won the champion’s title in the Russian Football Premier League’s 2016/2016 season tournament.
On August 7, 2015, the RFU announced that Slutsky was appointed the head coach of the national team in place of previous Italian specialist Fabio Capello. The announcement followed Russia’s 0-1 defeat to Austria in the 2016 Euro Cup qualifier in Moscow in June 2015. The defeat put Russia’s chances of qualifying for the European football championship almost to zero.
Slutsky, however, managed to guide the national team to victories in all remaining qualifying matches of the 2016 UEFA Euro Cup starting with 1-0 victory over Sweden on September 5 and earned the spot for Russia in Europe’s main football tournament.
The new coach’s inaugural match against the Swedish squad followed with a crushing 7-0 victory over Liechtenstein three days later and then he took the team to victories over Moldova (2-1) on October 9 and Montenegro (2-0) on October 12.
However, Russia emerged the winner only once in four friendly matches it played ahead of the major European football tournament, beating Lithuania by three goals to nothing. There was one draw against Serbia and two defeats to France (2:4) and the Czech Republic (1:2).
Playing in Group B at the Euro Cup, which kicked off on June 10, Russia ended its match against England with 1-1 draw, then lost its encounters with Slovakia and Wales (1-2 and 0-3 respectively). Having finished in the last place of the group, the Russian players, led by Slutsky, returned to Moscow on Tuesday.