Arsene Wenger has raised question marks over Frank Lampard’s shock move to Manchester City, but Jose Mourinho insisted that the former Chelsea man would be welcome back at Stamford Bridge.
The 36-year-old will join the Barclays Premier League champions on loan until January as he looks to maintain his fitness ahead of next year’s MLS season.
Lampard has signed a two-year contract with emerging MLS side New York City FC, but the club do not enter the American league until March 2015.
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Manchester City, New York City FC and Melbourne City are all owned by holding company City Football Group.
The company also have a minority share holding in Japanese club Yokohama Marinos.
Lampard could be important to Manuel Pellegrini in the Champions League given he counts as a homegrown player.
City must include five homegrown players in a restricted 21-man squad in the competition after they failed Uefa’s Financial Fair Play test.
And Wenger, whose side face City in the Community Shield at Wembley on Sunday, admitted: ‘Lampard’s move to Manchester City is a surprise as after the statements we heard, it looks like all these “City” clubs will feed the main club.
‘I heard they want to buy five clubs all around the world. I don’t know the rules well enough.
‘They bought the New York franchise for $100m in the States to play next season and at moment the players they sign cannot play until next year.
‘They will register in the clubs where they will put them and they can get out on loan. Is it a way to get around (financial) fair play? I don’t know.
He added: ‘Would Arsenal do that? We are happy to dedicate the money we make just to run our club as there is not a lot of surplus to buy other clubs.’
However Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said he had no hard feelings towards the club legend, and that he was welcome to join any club.
‘He is a free agent he can choose his club so I have no problem at all,’ Mourinho said.
‘When he comes to Stamford Bridge he is welcome. When he comes to the Emirates…. He is at the Emirates. There is no problem.’
Meanwhile, Thomas Vermaelen is unwilling to sign a new contract at Arsenal, edging him a step closer to the exit door.
The Gunners captain’s contract expires at the end of the forthcoming season and the club had been keen on offering him fresh terms.
But the Belgium international does not want to open talks about extending his contract.
Unless Arsenal sell him in the current transfer window, it means the central-defender can sign a pre-contract agreement with an overseas side from January.
Arsenal do not want to sell their captain this summer, but also want to avoid the possibility of losing him for nothing next year.
Barcelona, Manchester United and Napoli all have a firm interest in Vermalelen.
Arsenal would prefer to sell Vermaelen abroad rather than to United, which will prove a difficult stumbling block to overcome for Louis van Gaal.
The Gunners snubbed an initial £7million enquiry from United earlier this summer.
And with Arsenal expecting Barca to make their move for Vermaelen in the coming days, the Belgian’s future could come to a head sooner rather than later.
Vermaelen missed Sunday’s 1-0 Emirates Cup defeat to Monaco with a hamstring injury, and it seems unlikely that he will play for the club until his immediate future is resolved. Midfielder About Diaby is also being managed through a hip complaint.
Radamel Falcao scored the winner for the Ligue 1 club at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.