Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini has stressed that he believes the club's summer deals for Frank Lampard and Bacary Sagna were conducted correctly in response to recent comments from Arsene Wenger.
Over the last few days Wenger, whose Arsenal side play City at Wembley on Sunday in the Community Shield, has questioned both signings.
Former Chelsea midfielder Lampard has headed to the Etihad Stadium on loan until January from New York City FC - Manchester City's American sister outfit, who the 36-year-old England international signed for earlier this summer.
The Barclays Premier League champions were hit with sanctions from UEFA for breaching financial fair play rules in May, and when asked about the Lampard deal, Wenger said: "Is it a way to get around the fair-play? I don't know."
The Frenchman has also subsequently suggested that Sagna's move to City this summer after his Arsenal contract finished was "agreed a long time ago".
Possible Arsenal starting XI for the Community Shield v Manchester City
Possible Arsenal starting XI for the Community Shield v Manchester City
1/9 Mathieu Debuchy
Debuchy arrived as the replacement for the departed-Bacary Sagna, who joined Manchester City on a free transfer at the end of the season. Despite being favoured by France coach Didier Deschamps at the World Cup, many Arsenal fans felt Sagna enjoyed one of his best season’s before his exit, and Debuchy will have a lot to live up to if he is to justify his £12m move to the Gunners.
2/9 Calum Chambers
Despite signing for the club this summer, Chambers looks set to start the Community Shield given that Per Mertesacker is yet to return to the club. The 19-year-old impressed during the Emirates Cup, but the Premier League champions will pose a major threat to the young English talent.
3/9 Laurent Koscielny
The Frenchman formed a consistent partnership with Mertesacker last season, but his ability to play alongside Vermaelen still remains in the balance are a string of less than convincing showings over the past two years. Nevertheless, he has developed in to one of the key players among the current Arsenal squad, and has shown an eye for a goal when he is allowed to get in the box at set-pieces.
4/9 Kieran Gibbs
Gibbs overcame a number of long-term injuries to solidify his place as Arsenal’s first-choice left-back, seeing off the challenge of first Andre Santos and now Nacho Monreal. Hopwever, he is yet to reach the performances of his predecessors Ashley Cole and Gael Clichy, although at 24 years old he still has time to nurture his talent and rival Luke Shaw for the England left-back berth in the years to come. He brings a calmness to the Arsenal left flank, which tends to look rather exposed when he is absent.
5/9 Jack Wilshere
Arsenal’s golden boy has been in the headlines for the wrong reasons this summer, and he faces a potentially career defining season ahead of him that could determine his Arsenal future. With Aaron Ramsey enjoying his best season to date last year that saw him win the club’s player of the season award, Wilshere needs to push on or face being replaced in the first team. A number of injuries have not helped his cause, but a good start to the season could really help him cement his place for both club and country.
6/9 Alexis Sanchez
Much like Özil, a lot will be expected to come from Sanchez on the basis that the Gunners shelled out – by their standards – a significant fee to sign him from Barcelona. Sanchez is blessed with speed and his natural instincts in front of goal should help him settle quicker than Özil, but he will be judged on his number of goals. Wenger could look to start him through the middle, although the absence of the injured Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s recovery from injury is likely to see Sanchez start his Arsenal career on the right wing.
7/9 Aaron Ramsey
The Gunners will be hopeful that Ramsey can maintain his level of performance from last season after appearing to overcome the thigh injury that kept him out for nearly four months last term. The Welshman was a prominent figure in the Gunners title challenge, and there is no reason why they can’t win further silverware next season with a fit Ramsey in the side. The confidence he should gain from scoring the winning goal in an FA Cup final should see him push on even further.
8/9 Santi Cazorla
The Spanish magician is a wanted man with interest coming from La Liga champions Atletico Madrid, but Arsenal fans will not want him to leave after showing moments of genius since arriving at the Emirates. He has the tendency to blow hot or cold, as he tends to go missing when he’s not at his best, but his best is a joy to watch. Faces a much bigger fight to keep his place this season following the arrival of Sanchez which could see the attacking midfield trio rejigged to accommodate the Chile star.
9/9 Olivier Giroud
Despite calls for him to be replaced – or at least given support – Giroud is likely to continue as Arsenal’s lead striker, at least until the return to fitness of Walcott. Sanchez could take his place through the middle should he start the season slowly, but after showing more last season than he did in his first year with the club, there is an expectation that Giroud can push on further. If he can cut out his habit to miss clear-cut opportunities time and again, he could well contest the league’s top scorer award.
But asked on Friday if he was happy that everything as far as the Lampard and Sagna deals had been done correctly, Pellegrini said: "I think so."
The Chilean added that he was "surprised" by Wenger's comments, adding: "I think as managers we have enough problems with our own teams to be talking about other teams.
"The only thing I can say is that we have important restrictions about the amount of money we can spend, and Frank Lampard was a free player - we didn't spend any money in bringing him from New York City to Manchester City."
Pellegrini is baffled by any negative reaction there has been to Lampard's move, including from Chelsea fans upset to see him at a Premier League rival after 13 years at Stamford Bridge.
"I don't understand the reaction of Chelsea fans who say he is a traitor," Pellegrini said.
"The problem was not that Frank Lampard did not want to sign another contract with Chelsea - Chelsea didn't want him any more.
"He is a competitive player, he will be important for our team and we didn't spend any money on him, so the rules of financial fair play don't have any relation with Lampard."
Neither Lampard nor Sagna will be part of the squad for Sunday's game - among eight City players that are set to miss out.
That also includes Sergio Aguero, Pablo Zabaleta, Martin Demichelis, Fernandinho and skipper Vincent Kompany, all of whom - like Sagna - were involved in the knockout rounds of the World Cup.
Meanwhile, Alvaro Negredo is recovering from a foot injury.
But there could be debuts for two other new signings City have made this summer in goalkeeper Willy Caballero and midfielder Fernando.
City are also expected to wrap up a deal for Porto's France defender Eliaquim Mangala, but Pellegrini was giving little away on that front on Friday.
"I always say the same answer - when things are finished, we can talk about that," he said.
"For the moment, Mangala is not our player."