Jose Mourinho has been trying to wind up title rivals Manchester City with a series of mind games. His latest involved the Financial Fair Play (FFP) and he tried to portray City as anti-FFP. This appears to have worked perfectly, as City have slipped to third place in the league after two successive matches without a goal.
Manuel Pellegrini has responded to the criticism from Mourinho by suggesting that Chelsea are anti-FFP themselves. He said:
“This is the team that has spent the most money in the last 10 years, the team that has spent most money this year and the team that spent the most money in this transfer window [January].”
Pellegrini chose the wrong time to make those comments, as we have just profited heavily following the sales of Juan Mata and Kevin De Bruyne. After pointing this to Pellegrini, Mourinho suggested that the City boss should resort to a calculator. Speaking ahead of the West Brom match, he said to Guardian:
“I don’t have to repeat myself a lot, but everybody knows what Manchester City are. What I would like to say is that, for example, Pellegrini was talking about the money we’ve spent.
“I think he’s a fantastic coach, and I respect that a lot, and on top of that, outside his football career, he’s an engineer by qualification. I don’t think an engineer needs a calculator to do Mata £37m and De Bruyne £18m, so that’s £55m. Matic is £21m and Salah is £11m. That’s £32m, and 55 minus 32 is 23.
“So Chelsea, in this transfer window, generated £23m. It’s easy to understand that this is working with financial fair play, ‘fair’ financial fair play. There are no arguments against that.”
Interestingly, Mourinho appears to have missed out on the £12 million spent on Saint-Etienne’s Kurt Zouma, though it is likely that the transfer may start counting from the summer since the player has returned to the French club on a loan deal. Even then, Chelsea have finished the January transfer window with a positive balance.
Pellegrini is unlikely to respond to this latest comment largely because he would be scratching his head as to how his City team have failed to score in the last two matches.