Jose Mourinho stokes up war of words with Manuel Pellegrini
Chelsea boss questions Manchester City counterpart's arithmetic ability
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho stoked up his war of words with Manuel Pellegrini on Monday by questioning the Manchester City manager’s sums.
Mourinho, who will have Fernando Torres fit to return at West Bromwich Albion on Tuesday after a three-week layoff with a knee problem but is again without John Terry due to a minor injury, took the mind games to a new level on the eve of the Premier League tussle at The Hawthorns.
Chelsea went to the top of the table with a 3-0 win over Newcastle United on Saturday, one point ahead of Arsenal and two in front of City.
Mourinho has said repeatedly that he views City’s expensive squad as the title favourites but Pellegrini recently pointed out that it is Chelsea who have spent the most money in the last decade and also in last month’s transfer window.
“What I’d like to say is that the other day Pellegrini made some comments about the money we have spent,” Mourinho told a news conference.
“I think he’s a fantastic coach who I respect a lot and on top of that he’s an engineer,” said the Portuguese, referring to the fact the City manager studied engineering at university.
“I don’t think an engineer needs a calculator to work out we sold Juan Mata for £37 million (HK$471 million) last month and Kevin De Bruyne for £18 million.
“That’s £55 million, more or less. We bought Nemanja Matic for £21 million and Mohamed Salah for £11 million. That’s £55 million minus £32 million so Chelsea in this transfer window are at £23 million plus.
“It’s easy to understand that we are working with Financial Fair Play...there are no arguments against that.”
Mourinho, who often provokes and antagonises other managers with barbed comments and memorably said last week that “everything I say or do is mind games”, hinted City were not operating within the same Uefa Financial Fair Play guidelines.
“This is what we are doing, others aren’t doing the same,” said the Chelsea manager.
“We are building a team for the next decade if possible and City have a team to win now because they don’t have a team for 10 years.”
Mourinho then turned his attentions to City’s Ivory Coast midfielder Yaya Toure, who aimed an off-the-ball kick at Norwich City striker Ricky van Wolfswinkel in Saturday’s 0-0 draw at Carrow Road.
An FA video review panel decided against charging Toure on Monday but Mourinho, speaking before the verdict, was certain the midfielder should be punished.
“[If he gets off] it means that it doesn’t matter about the cameras, doesn’t matter about the consequences, if the referee doesn’t see it they can do it [but] normally the FA defends football and fair play,” he said.
For his part, Van Wolfswinkel said on Twitter: “Good to see Toure not getting suspended. Players like him belong on the pitch! What happens at Carrow Road stays at Carrow Road.”