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ESPN3 4:00 PM GMT
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Dec 13, 2013

Pellegrini: 'Strange' that Ozil left Real

Manuel Pellegrini believes it is "strange" that Real Madrid sold Mesut Ozil but said Manchester City did not try to sign the Germany international because they have David Silva.

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Former Real manager Pellegrini comes up against Ozil for the first time in England when his City side host Arsenal at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday. While Pellegrini is an admirer of the playmaker, who cost Arsenal a club record fee of 42.5 million pounds, he has creative midfielders like World Cup winner Silva and former Gunner Samir Nasri.

He said: "We never had the chance to sign Ozil. He's a very good player. It was strange that Real Madrid let him go. But he plays the position of Silva and I think we have the players we need there. That's why we didn't bring another one in."

Pellegrini confirmed that captain Vincent Kompany is fit to face Arsenal after he was an unused substitute in Tuesday’s 3-2 win over Bayern Munich. The centre-back spent almost two months on the sidelines with a thigh injury and returned for the away games against West Brom and Southampton before he was rested for the match against the European champions.

Pellegrini added: "He didn't play in midweek so he is perfect for this game. I think it was a risk to use him just 72 hours later in the week that he has returned. We will see in the future; maybe he won't have any problems to play two games in a row. This week it was better for him to rest."

Pellegrini believes he and Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger share an attacking philosophy, unlike some of their counterparts at other major clubs.

He explained: "Both teams play as a big team. That's very important for your mentality. Some big teams prefer to be very strong defensively and have two, three, four counter attacking players. In that sense I think we are very similar."

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