Jose Mourinho was trying to send a message to Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich by substituting John Terry for the first time during his two spells in charge at Stamford Bridge, according to the Telegraph.
So far the Blues have had a quiet transfer window having only completed deals for back-up goalkeeper Asmir Begovic, full-back Abdul Baba Rahman and a loan swoop for Radamel Falcao.
Didier Drogba, Petr Cech and Filipe Luis have all left the club during that time, and Mourinho is said to be keen on bolstering his squad before the window slams shut.
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Chelsea have had two offers for Everton's John Stones rejected already as they try and land a long-term replacement for Terry, and are expected to come back with a third offer to lure the England international away from Goodison Park.
The Telegraph claim that Mourinho's decision to haul off Terry mid-way through the 3-0 defeat against City was a message to his owner to provide him with the cash he needs to go out and bolster his defence. Sky Sports pundit Graeme Souness added after the game yesterday: "I think the manager is trying to make a statement to the owner that: 'I need more players'.
The Blues boss' move to bring on Juan Cuadrado in the second half against Manchester City has also been perceived as a plea to Abramovich as well.
The Colombian has failed to settle since joining from Fiorentina in January and has been linked with an exit, however Mourinho brought him on as his side chased the game yesterday.
Terry was substituted for the first time by Mourinho in the Portuguese manager's 177th game in charge at Stamford Bridge, however he insists the decision was made purely to get his 'fastest player' Kurt Zouma on the pitch.
He told reporters: "I had to decide on John or Cahill because Zouma is the fastest player we have in our defensive line. When you are going to play with a high block and you are asking your players to do that, the fastest player has to be on the pitch.
"The point was not to bring John out but to bring Zouma in. I wanted to have my fastest player on the pitch and not on the bench because I knew they would play counter attack and long balls into Aguero. I knew I wanted my team to be dominant and to play in the opposition half."