Manuel Pellegrini defends Frank Lampard loan deal

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Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini has come out swinging in his war of words with Arsene Wenger over his loan swoop for Frank Lampard, while also accusing Chelsea of rejecting the chance to have the veteran back at Stamford Bridge.

Lampard raised a few eyebrows after returning to the Premier League to sign for Manchester City, having left Chelsea at the end of his contract to hook up with New York City FC, who are controlled by City owner Sheikh Mansour.


Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger questioned the legitimacy of the deal in the context of UEFA's Financial Fair Play regulations earlier this week, suggesting that Lampard's indirect route to the Etihad Stadium could be a way of circumnavigating the rules.

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Wenger also seemed to hint that Manchester City had tapped up full-back Bacary Sagna, suggesting that his move from Arsenal had been agreed 'some time ago'.

War of words

However Pellegrini has hit back at his Arsenal counterpart, and told him to mind his own business.

"I think as managers we have enough problems with our own teams to be talking about other teams," he told reporters.

"The only thing I can say is that we have important restrictions about the amount of money we can spend, and Frank Lampard was a free player - we didn't spend any money in bringing him from New York City to Manchester City."


Chelsea fans were unhappy with Lampard's decision to join their title rivals after being released by the Blues. Lampard is Chelsea's top scorer and spent 13 years in west London - but Pellegrini says that the midfielder shouldn't be judged because it was Chelsea who abandoned him in the first place.

"I don't understand the reaction of Chelsea fans who say he is a traitor," the Chilean said.

"The problem was not that Frank Lampard did not want to sign another contract with Chelsea - Chelsea didn't want him any more.


"He is a competitive player, he will be important for our team and we didn't spend any money on him, so the rules of financial fair play don't have any relation with Lampard."

Manchester City get the defence of their Premier League crown underway next week against Newcastle but take on Arsenal in the Community Shield before then, while Chelsea start off against newly-promoted Burnley. 

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