Chelsea legend Frank Lampard says the club's "strange" decision to allow Nemanja Matic to join Manchester United has improved a direct title rival.
Last week the Chelsea boss left no doubt in supporters' minds that the decision to part ways with the Serbian midfielder was not his, which prompted suggestions that the Blues board was responsible for sanctioning the deal which saw Matic move to Manchester United.
Chelsea opted to let Matic leave the club this summer after they brought in Monaco midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko.
Matic's arrival at Stamford Bridge could be crucial to the development of Paul Pogba at Old Trafford, with Lampard expecting the Frenchman who recently lost his tag as the world's most expensive player following Neymar's move from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain to shine this season. "It was certainly a position that Manchester United as a team needed to strengthen, and they've gone and done it with Matic".
Speaking in an exclusive interview with The Sport Review, BT Sport pundit Lampard said: "I think Matic [himself] personally maybe wanted to move on".
"You respect that if that is the case".
"It's just odd that he's gone to a competitor". Was it his dream to go and play for Manchester United?
"He did that job for Chelsea with great tactical discipline".
"It's quite unusual but Chelsea have always been thinking forward".
Tottenham Hotspur, for instance, have been lambasted publicly by one of their own players for a lack of ambition; Liverpool's best player has handed in a transfer request; Pep Guardiola has made good signings but apparently still wants more; Arsenal are going through the same mental process they do every year, so no problem there.
The west London side won a record 30 games on their way to winning the Premier League title this season.
Speaking to Betfair, Le Saux said: "Antonio Conte's comments about the "crazy transfer market" this summer highlight the lack of depth in the Chelsea squad and I don't see them as obvious champions, particularly with the extra challenge of European football and the fact it's hugely hard to defend a Premier League title".