Pellegrini’s stock is currently high. He led City to a Premier League and Capital One Cup double in his first year at City and has taken them to the knockout stages of the Champions League in each of his three seasons. The first hint of the changes to come came from Pellegrini at the end of a standard press conference to preview Tuesday’s Barclays Premier League trip to Sunderland. Business appeared to have been concluded when the Chilean said: “Before we finish I will tell you that I talked with the club and I will finish my contract on the original date in June. “We extended the contract one year more but with the clause that one of the club or me cannot use that extended contract. “So, I finish here on the original date, June 30. There has been a lot of speculation about things, but they (the club) are not doing anything behind me. I knew this one month ago. “I don’t think it is good to have speculation about different things. I prefer to finish (by announcing) today – that is why I have told the press and told the players. I told the club two weeks ago that I would do it.” Pellegrini will now hope to bow out on a high, with City well placed in the Premier League, through to the Capital One Cup final and still involved in the FA Cup. They also face Dynamo Kiev in the last 16 of the Champions League bidding to reach the quarter-finals for the first time. Guardiola, whose name alone will instantly see City linked with a host of the world’s top players, could now discuss future transfer targets with the club. He already has a strong relationship with two members of the City hierarchy having worked under chief executive Ferran Soriano and director of football Txiki Begiristain at Barcelona. He will arrive with a formidable reputation. He won 14 trophies in four seasons in charge at Barcelona and has also brought two Bundesliga titles to Bayern. Press Association Press Association Sport understands Pellegrini was kept up to date with the club’s negotiations with Guardiola, which began weeks ago. The club would also not have made the change had former Barcelona boss Guardiola declined their offer. City believe their man has resisted overtures from rival clubs to join them but Manchester United – with whom Guardiola was also linked – have insisted they were not one of his potential suitors. Pellegrini will now not take up the one-year extension he agreed to his original three-year contract last summer. Both he and the club agreed to make the announcement early to end persistent speculation over the situation. Stories tipping Guardiola for City had increased considerably since December’s revelation that he would be leaving Bayern in the summer. City also hope that bringing the matter into the open will galvanise the squad for the rest of the season as they continue to challenge in four competitions. They hope this way – with all loose ends tied up – it will play out differently to the situation at United in 2001 when the announcement of Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement created some uncertainty. A club statement read: “Out of respect for Manuel Pellegrini and the players, the club wishes to make its decision public to remove the unnecessary burden of speculation. “Manuel Pellegrini, who is fully supportive of the decision to make this communication, is entirely focused on achieving his targets for the season ahead and retains the respect and commitment of all involved with the leadership of the club.” It is understood the club will not stand in Pellegrini’s way if he wants to look for other jobs during the remaining four months of the season. The club have not discussed a possible alternative role for Pellegrini as it is felt he still wants to be a front-line manager, possibly elsewhere in the Premier League. His relationship with City is believed to have remained good throughout. Pep Guardiola’s arrival at Manchester City next summer will end a four-year long pursuit of the Spaniard by the club. City have announced the appointment of the much-coveted outgoing Bayern Munich boss as head coach from next season with Manuel Pellegrini standing down. City have also revealed they first tried to bring in the 45-year-old two-time Champions League winner in 2012, a situation Pellegrini was fully aware of when he took over the following year.
On a sunny Saturday afternoon at the Uytengsu Aquatics Center, the No. 1 USC women’s water polo team was able to overcome some early offensive woes to take charge in the second half and earn a gritty 11-4 win over conference foe No. 4 Arizona State. With the victory, USC maintains its unblemished 25-0 overall record and improves to 3-0 in MPSF play, while Arizona State falls to 18-5 and 2-2 in conference.The Trojan offense was stagnant to begin the game, and the Sun Devils were able to capitalize. Though freshman utility Maud Megens skipped a shot past Arizona State goalie Mia Rycraw to put USC on the board first, the visitors scored twice to take the 2-1 advantage at the end of the first quarter. The Trojans did find some footing in the second, however, as scores from senior2-meter Avery Peterson, Megens and junior utility Hayley McKelvey — and solid defending in the cage by sophomore goalkeeper Amanda Longan — put USC ahead 4-2 by halftime. In the third period, senior driver Ioanna Haralabidis took a nice feed from McKelvey to score USC’s fourth-straight goal, and though the Sun Devils would answer with a goal of their own, the score was 5-3 in favor of USC heading into the fourth and final frame. In the end, USC’s depth proved to be too much for Arizona State to handle, as the home team was able to turn on the jets and finally pull away from the visitors thanks to goals by Haralabidis, senior 2-meter Brigitta Games and freshman driver Kelsey McIntosh.Senior driver Stephania Haralabidis’ late strike would put USC into double digits with the team’s tenth goal of the day, and a big save by Longan, her eighth, would seal the victory. In all, Arizona State was outscored 6-1 in the final frame, as USC went on to secure the 11-4 win.Seven Trojans scored on the day, led by MPSF Newcomer of the Week Megens’ two goals and three assists. In addition, reigning MPSF Player of the Week Games, Ioanna Haralabidis and McKelvey also scored twice, while McIntosh and Stephania Haralabidis added one goal apiece. Though the scoreboard may have shown a blowout win for USC, the Trojans were certainly tested throughout the game and were forced to dig deep in order to pull out the victory.“I think we started off a little slow, and we just were not on the same page,” McKelvey said. “But after the second quarter, we really came together and decided that we needed to change this, and it just clicked from then on.”USC now extends its series lead to 26-2 all-time against the Sun Devils, with wins in each of the programs’ last six meetings. More importantly, the nation’s top team also extended its record-winning streak to 52 matches in a row.Next up for USC will be a match against conference rival No. 2 Stanford on Saturday at the Uytengsu Aquatics Center. The Trojans will host the Cardinal in a nationally televised battle on the Pac-12 Network, set for 5 p.m. with major postseason implications on the line. USC and Stanford are two of three undefeated teams in the conference (UCLA being the third), and a victory over the Cardinal this weekend would give the Trojans great position heading into the final two games of the season.USC will also honor its seven seniors in a Senior Day ceremony prior to the start of the match.