• Chelsea and Manchester City managers battle on
• Mourinho rules out move for Falcao or Cavani
José Mourinho has maintained his tit-for-tat with Manuel Pellegrini by suggesting the Manchester City manager is in need of a calculator for asserting Chelsea remain comparable heavyweights in the transfer market, with the Portuguese offering an insight into how his club intend to comply with Uefa's financial fair-play regulations.
Pellegrini said last week that Chelsea are "the team that spends the most money in the last 10 years, the team that spends the most money this year, so a little bit rich" in the wake of their 1-0 victory at the Etihad Stadium last week. Yet Mourinho pointed to Chelsea's net profit during the midwinter transfer window as evidence of a desire to comply with the new guidelines – he remains sceptical rivals, and City in particular, will follow suit – and revealed he was not in the market for premium players such as Radamel Falcao or Edinson Cavani.
Indeed, while conceding the days of spending record fees, such as the £50m on Fernando Torres, have gone, Mourinho believes Chelsea's stockpiling of young talent over recent seasons has offered them leeway within FFP. Asked about Cavani and Falcao, about whom the Premier League leaders inquired last summer before their lucrative moves to Monaco and Paris St-Germain respectively, he said: "No, we didn't go for them because of transfer fees and salaries. Players are not just about fees but also big wages. Of course there's a certain profile of player we don't go near."
Yet while the other contenders may still pursue that calibre of player, Mourinho said Chelsea could still compete for honours within FFP, having already recruited potential which, as it was with Kevin de Bruyne in January, could then be sold on at substantial profit. The Belgium forward had been bought for £6.7m and, despite making only two Premier League starts in two years contracted to the club, moved on to Wolfsburg last month for £18m. Romelu Lukaku and Thibaut Courtois, the young goalkeeper who has spent the last two seasons at Atlético Madrid and whose contract runs to 2016, have likewise clearly seen their values soar while away from the club who technically owns them.
"Chelsea made great investment in the past and were also criticised because we did so much but things change," said Mourinho. "The club adapted well to the situation. You see De Bruyne gave us a big profit and there are other players who – maybe – won't play a single match for Chelsea and we sell them at a profit. We had to organise ourselves in a different way and, before I came here, Chelsea did fantastic work in this level: Lukaku, De Bruyne, Courtois, [Lucas] Piazon … not all of them will have a career at Chelsea but all of them are important in this new financial organisation.
"So Chelsea worked very, very well and probably started doing that before other clubs. Because of that, even if FFP is put into practice, the club are advanced in dealing with that new situation." They currently have 30 players on loan at clubs around Europe, youngsters who will either go on to make their mark back at their parent club or whose future sales will help the current Premier League leaders comply with Uefa's regulations.
Mourinho, who has Torres back in the squad for match at West Bromwich Albion but again will be without John Terry, denied Pellegrini's assertion that Chelsea and City remain comparable spenders in the marke, suggesting the Chilean was employing of mindgames. "The message he wanted to pass out is that we are also big spenders like them but that's not true," said Mourinho, whose own figures did not take into account the £12m arrival of another youngster, Kurt Zouma from St Etienne.
"When someone says Chelsea bought Nemanja Matic and Mohamed Salah, you have to say they sold Juan Mata and De Bruyne, and had a profit of £23m. So instead of saying we're the big spenders in the January market, it's probably better to say we are the ones who made the most money. Us and maybe Newcastle, with [Yohan] Cabaye leaving for £19m.
"Pellegrini is a fantastic coach and, on top of that, he's an engineer by qualification. I don't think an engineer needs a calculator to do Mata £37m and De Bruyne £18m, so that's £55m. [ Nemanja] Matic is £21m and [Mohamed] Salah is £11m. That's £32m, and 55 minus 32 is 23. So Chelsea, in this transfer window, generated £23m. It's easy to understand that this is working with fair financial fair play. We are building a team for the next decade. City have a team to win now: experience, potential, power, not worried about FFP because, in the summer, they just spend … We don't need a calculator for this. It's easy: +23."