In Depth

Mourinho starts war of words with Man City over transfers

Is the Special One restyling himself as football's answer to Carol Vorderman?

Jose Mourinho

NOT for the first time this season Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has been accused of messing up his maths, after Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho took the Chilean to task for getting his "calculations wrong on Chelsea's spending" during the recent winter transfer window.

Back in December Pellegrini appeared to miscalculate what his side needed to do to win his Champions League pool and gain a top seed spot for the last 16 draw, settling for a 3-2 win at Bayern Munich when another goal would have sent them above the German champions in the table.

Now he's done it again in relation to Chelsea's transfer policy.

Once known as the 'Special One', it seems Mourinho is seeking to restyle himself as football's answer to Carol Vorderman. In responding to Pellegrini's recent claim that Chelsea are a "rich little horse" [a barb that came after Mourinho had described his team as a "little horse" in the title race], Mourinho defended his club's transfer policy. "[Juan] Mata was sold for £37m and [Kevin] De Bruyne for £18m - that's £55m," said Mourinho. "[Nemanja ] Matic bought for £21m and [Mohamed] Salah £11m. In this window, we are plus £23m."

As the press corps marvelled at Mourinho's maths, the Chelsea boss continued: "We are building a team for the next decade and City have a team to win now. They have experience, potential, power and no worries about Financial Fair Play, because in summer they just spent. We don't need a calculator for this."

But unfortunately for the Special One it looks like he won't be invited to appear on Countdown any time soon. For as the BBC points out, Mourinho had overlooked Kurt Zouma in his calculations, the player he bought for £12m from French club St Etienne in last month's transfer window. So in fact Chelsea made £55m from the sale of players in January but forked out £44m for new arrivals.

The BBC adds that City "did not change their squad during the winter window, but had a net spend of about £80m last summer".

Mathematical mutterings apart, Mourinho used his Monday press conference ahead of tonight's game at West Brom to open a new front in the war of words with Pellegrini. Sensing that City might be on the slide after taking just one point from their last two games, which included a home defeat to Chelsea, Mourinho said of his Chilean rival.

"He has been speaking about winning four competitions so there's no reason to change the speech. But the only thing that is funny [is] that he keeps saying he never responds to Mourinho; he never comments about Mourinho. He said that in Spain, too. So he's changed."

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