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Tuesday, Jul 29th

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Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini and Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho are at it once again. This time it is the Chilean, who has taken objection to Mourinho’s comments placing Chelsea as underdogs for the title.

In response to Mourinho’s statements that said the Chelsea are a ‘little-horse’ competing with 2 big horses for the Premier League title, Pellegrini told the Daily Mirror, “It can be a little horse but a very rich one. This is the team that has spent the most money in the last 10 years, that has spent the most money this year and that has spent the most money in the transfer window. I think Mourinho is a favourite, but he thinks if he wins he will have all the merits, but if he loses he doesn’t have responsibility.”

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Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho said that he had a heated altercation with Manchester City’s Alvaro Negredo during the Blues’ 1-0 win at the Etihad last week as the Spaniard tried to get one of his players sent off.

Mourinho accused Negredo of feigning an injury after he was tackled by Chelsea’s new signing Nemanja Matic, who was already on a Yellow Card. The Portuguese manager was quoted in the Daily Star saying about the incident, “In the game of Man City, I had an exchange of words with one of the City players. I was not happy because he was trying to get Matic sent off. He knew he had a yellow card. Matic jumped just in front of me in a very clean way, and the other guy immediately [holds his face]. He knew Matic had a yellow card already.”

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Several clubs from the Barclays Premier League including Liverpool, Manchester City, Arsenal and Chelsea are in the race to sign 16 year old Marseille wonderkid Maxime Lopez according to The Daily Express. Lopez is primarily a right sided midfielder but can also operate through the middle. He has already been compared to another Marseille product who has been a huge success in the Premier League, Samir Nasri.

Due to Lopez's age, he isn't eligible to sign a professional contract till next year. The French club are desperate to keep him at the Stade Velodrome for many more years and are said to be drawing up a tempting contract including promise of first team football, similar to the one signed by Adnan Januzaj at Manchester United. However, the deep pockets of the various Premier League clubs could be impossible to match for Marseille as they weigh up the scenario.

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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes that there is no clear favourite for the Premier League title this season. When asked about Chelsea’s win against the odds against free-scoring Manchester City, Wenger said in an interview carried in the Metro, “I said that one month ago and you did not believe me – there is no invincible team because there are so many quality teams in the league. It is just how close you are to your best every time which decides the game.”

Manchester City have looked as close to being invincible at the Etihad as humanly possible this season but it wasn’t quite to be for the Citizens as Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea put in a spirited performance this week to knock them off their perch.

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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes that the Premier League title race this season will not be easy to predict because of the mercurial nature of the results so far. In stark contrast to last season when eventual champions Man United were runaway leaders at the top since the midway point of the season, this season’s results have thrown up some surprises. Speaking after Chelsea secured an unlikely win against title favourites Man City, Wenger was quoted by ESPN as saying, “[The title race] is never as simple as everyone predicts it. I said a long time ago that nobody will be absolutely above [the others]. It will be down to consistency. This is the period - January, February, March - where every game is a battle for everybody because everybody fights for something."

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Manchester City striker Alvaro Negredo has come up with mind games of his own to put pressure on Premier League leaders Arsenal after being inspired by Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho’s tactics. Although the Spaniard has rubbished Mourinho’s modest evaluation of his side’s credentials to clinch the Premier League trophy this season, the 28-year old believes that bookie underdogs Arsenal, who are 2 points clear of the chasing pack with 14 games left in the season, are the current title favourites.

The former Sevilla striker didn’t buy into Mourinho’s mind games as the Portuguese speaks of Man City as the runaway favourites for the title despite Chelsea having inflicted a first home defeat on the Citizens at the Etihad in the Premier League this season. Negredo was quoted in the Daily Star as saying, “He’s throwing balls out. A week ago he said we weren’t favourites and now he says we are.”

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The winter transfer window may have ended for Arsenal but manager Arsene Wenger may still have to toil hard to keep hold of at least one of his stars. Reports in The Daily Mail have revealed that Russian side Zenit St. Petersburg are gearing up for a swoop for the Gunners defender Thomas Vermaelen and launch a bid for him soon.

The Russian transfer window still has 22 days left before closing and that may provide the club with an opportunity to land the highly rated 28 year old.

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