Football

Pellegrini says FFP rules force out Negredo

Frank Lampard.

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has blamed the Financial Fair Play rules for striker Alvaro Negredo's transfer deadline-day departure to Valencia.

Expressing his unhappiness, he said: "It is difficult for me to understand the punishment because the club spent money because they wanted to grow, they finished a new training ground.

"They were a small team and wanted to be a big team but now we have that punishment, that sanction, and we have to play with these restrictions."

Negredo joined Valencia on transfer deadline day last week in a loan deal that will be made permanent next summer.

The transfer raised eyebrows as Negredo had impressed since his £20 million ($40m) signing from Sevilla last year and his exit leaves the champions with just three frontline forwards.

But City were under pressure to leave a senior player out of their Champions League squad, having been limited to a reduced roster of just 21 as punishment for breaching Uefa's FFP regulations.

With Negredo sidelined until the end of next month with a broken metatarsal, he seemed an obvious candidate for omission for the first part of the season.

That, combined with a desire from the player to return to Spain, led to City accepting an approach from Valencia.

Pellegrini said: "The decision for Alvaro Negredo to go was for two very important reasons.

"The first was that we have the restriction for the number of the players we can use in the Champions League.

"We had one player more, (and) we could not use Alvaro, who was injured, so he was the player who was not going to be on the list.

"For him, it was very important because he wanted to go back to Spain, so I thought it was the best decision for the club.

"But it all starts from the restriction about the number of players. We have restrictions about the amount of players and the money we can spend."

In addition to the reduced squad, City were also fined £49m and forced to limit their net summer spending to £49m.

City were linked with a deadline day move for Radamel Falcao from Monaco but the Colombia striker made a surprise loan move to rivals Manchester United.

Pellegrini, asked ahead of City's Premier League clash at Arsenal, did not want to be drawn on the matter.

"I don't talk about players at other teams," the Chilean said.

City's trip to Arsenal begins a tough week in which they also travel to Bayern Munich in the Champions League and then host rivals Chelsea.

Pellegrini's men also go into the tough period on the back of a shock loss to Stoke in their last game a fortnight ago.

Pellegrini said: "We must always try to win, especially when you didn't win the last game."

Midfielder Fernando (groin) and striker Stevan Jovetic (hamstring) have been ruled out.

New £32m defender Eliaquim Mangala and former England midfielder Frank Lampard could be in line for debuts after building up their general fitness. - PA Sport.