Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger feels baffled over Manchester City's attempt to bring Frank Lampard on loan before the start of the upcoming campaign.
Chelsea allowed the 36-year-old to leave for free and the midfielder signed for the Citizens' sister club in the USA, New York City FC. The England international can only play for the MLS outfit when the new season gets underway in March next year.
Manuel Pellgrini confirmed that Lampard will be a part of his roster at the Etihad on a short-term loan deal till next January; enabling the Blues legend to face his former club as well as other title rivals.
Wenger is unhappy with City's move for the former West Ham star and questioned the fairness of the transfer pertaining to Uefa's Financial Fair Play rules. The reigning Premier League champions' net spend in the ongoing transfer window is restricted to £49m and caps their wage bill at the existing level for two seasons more.
"I heard they want to buy five clubs all around the world - I don't know the rules well enough, but they bought the New York franchise for $100million in the States to play next season, and at the moment the players they [New York] sign cannot play until next year," Wenger fumed.
"It's a surprise - after all the statements we heard, it looks like all these City clubs [Manchester City also own Aussie side Melbourne City] will feed the main club.
"They will register for the clubs where they will put them and they can go out on loan. Is it a way to get around the fair play? I don't know," he concluded.
Meanwhile, the 64-year-old Frenchman's counterpart at Stamford Bridge, Jose Mourinho, showed no signs of frustration at Lampard's short-term move to City.
"He is a free agent; he can choose his club so there's no problem at all. When he comes to Stamford Bridge he is welcome," the Portuguese tactician explained.
Meanwhile, reports claim that the Citizens will be paying all of Lampard's wages during his six-month stay in England. The midfielder could make his bow at Wembley during their Community Shield fixture against the Gunners on 10 August.