Pellegrini, who will be officially unveiled as City manager at a press conference this afternoon (Weds), takes his squad to South Africa this evening (Weds) for the first stage of the club’s pre-season preparations. And the Chilean has ended uncertainty surrounding Lescott’s future at the Etihad Stadium by telling the former Everton centre-half that he regards his experience as a crucial element of his defensive options in the coming campaign. Following the departure of Kolo Toure to Liverpool and Real Madrid’s refusal to sell Portugal international Pepe, Pellegrini remains keen to add an established centre-half to his squad to provide competition for Lescott, Matija Nastasic and team captain Vincent Kompany. But while he has assured Lescott that he will be given the opportunity to safeguard his international prospects, the player has yet to be offered new terms to extend his contract beyond the remaining 12 months of his current deal. Gareth Barry remains in a similar position, with just a year to run on his contract, but while Pellegrini is happy to retain the England midfielder as a member of his squad, the former Aston Villa captain has been told that the club will not stand in his way should they receive a suitable offer for the 32-year-old.