Chelsea legend Frank Lampard says the club’s ‘strange’ decision to allow Nemanja Matic to join Manchester United has improved a direct title rival.
The Serbian joined Manchester United on a £40million deal this month after lengthy negotiations between the two clubs.
Antonio Conte has since hinted the decision to let Matic go was not made by him and says people should ‘ask the club’ about the transfer.
Matic has impressed in his two appearances for United since moving to Old Trafford and Lampard’s admitted he’s surprised the deal was allowed to go through.
‘I was surprised because selling to a direct rival isn’t the norm at the top end,’ Lampard told ESPN.
‘It was a big deal when Chelsea sold Petr Cech to Arsenal. People at the club seemed to mull it over for quite a while and then out of respect for Petr and what he’d done, and the situation with [Thibaut] Courtois, they let him go.
‘This doesn’t seem quite the same, but at the same time we don’t know whether Matic wanted to leave. Was it his dream to go and play for Manchester United? Did he want a new challenge at 29?
‘There are a lot of variables that aren’t easy but from the outside, it does seem strange to let that player go to a direct rival — and he will improve them. It was certainly a position that Manchester United as a team needed to strengthen, and they’ve gone and done it with Matic.’