Chelsea FC manager Jose Mourinho says it is hard to predict what will happen at the end of the season, but thinks Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini did some wrong calculation for making a vague reference at his team’s spending during the January transfer window.
The Portuguese boss feels Tuesday’s tie with coach Pepe Mel’s West Bromwich Albion poses a huge threat to his side’s ambition of finishing top in the present campaign.
Chelsea sits at the summit of the league standing with only six points separating the top four teams while facing a trip to the Hawthorns against a relegation threatened side which has not won since New Year’s Day.
‘It will be difficult,” said Mourinho. “The teams not in the top four will be very influential in the league. Everybody has an influence in the race. Every team is fighting for points and taking points from the big teams.
“Normally people are pushed to say games like Chelsea against Arsenal and Arsenal against City will decide things, but maybe they don’t.”
Chelsea will return to City’s Etihad Stadium after the West Brom game, but this time in an FA Cup clash. The ”Blues’ might just be two points ahead of Pellegrini’s side in the League, but last midweek’s defeat to their opponents could have both side struggling for England’s bragging right.
Mourinho earlier described his team as a “little horse” in the Premier League title race, while Pellegrini, whose team made no acquisition in January, connoted Chelsea were a “rich little horse”.
The Chilean boss drew reference to Chelsea’s spending over the last decade, since Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich bought the club.
Mourinho countered Pellegrini’s claims, saying: ‘Pellegrini was making comments about the money we spent. He’s a fantastic coach and I respect that a lot, and on top of that outside his football career he is an engineer, and I don’t think an engineer needs a calculator.
“Mata was sold for £37m and Kevin de bruyne for £18m- that’s £55m.
“Matic bought for £21m and Salah £11m. In this transfer window Chelsea have made roughly a £23 million profit to work with the Financial Fair Play. There are no arguments against that.
One player Mourinho did not mention during his rough evaluation was Kurt Zouma, who himself was also a January acquisition for £12m. That plus the fees paid for Egyptian, Salah and Serbian, Matic, sees the team’s total expenditure rise to £54m while the £55m made from the sales of Mata and De Bruyne could be termed inconsequential to the total income.
Mourinho continued: “He (Pellegrini) 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.”
Fernando Torres has been cleared to feature against the ‘Baggies’, but skipper John Terry is in contention for next weekend, says Mourinho.
“John is still out but I expect him to play next weekend,” reported Mourinho. “We are better than in the last match because Fernando is back and it is one more option for us.”