Mata exit ‘strange’, says Pellegrini

Manuel Pellegrini believes the circumstances around Juan Mata’s move from Chelsea to Manchester United are ‘strange’, the Daily Mail has reported, while the Manchester City manager also feels the January transfer window needs new regulations.

Pellegrini added his voice to that of Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, who suggested it was unfair United were able to sign Mata in the middle of the season.

The Chilean however feels that players should have their movement restricted during the winter window. “United are getting a very good player, but personally I do not agree that a transfer like this can happen in the middle of the season,” he said.

“I do not think a player should be allowed to go from one club to another in the same league in January. It is not correct at this stage of the season.

“Maybe Arsene Wenger had a correct reason, when he pointed out Chelsea have already played United home and away, but my argument is a more general one. I just feel that if a player has made more than five or six appearances for his club, then he cannot join another one in the same league at the midway point.

“I just think if a player plays for a club for more than half of the season, a club with money can take the best players from the other teams. The rules are the rules, so you play by them, but I just think they should change. I am not saying scrap the January window, just change it.

“I do think Mata is a very good player. It is a shame he didn’t play often this year at Chelsea. That was strange, but I think United buy a very good player.”

Chelsea have played United twice this season, drawing 0-0 at Old Trafford and winning 3-1 at Stamford Bridge, but Mata remained an unused substitute in both games.

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