Manuel Pellegrini feels Fabian Delph made a "bad decision" by initially opting to snub Manchester City in favour of staying at Aston Villa, but praised the midfielder for changing his mind.
Delph performed a sensational U-turn by signing for City on Friday, just six days after insisting he would spurn the Etihad Stadium club's advances and remain at Villa Park.
And City boss Pellegrini believes the England international - who will arrive in Melbourne on Tuesday to join his new team-mates on their pre-season tour - eventually made the correct choice.
"Maybe it was a special moment for him," Pellegrini said of Delph's U-turn.
"I think it was a bad decision [to stay with Villa]. Players need a new challenge and this was a new challenge for him.
"But it's important for him that he finally decided to come because I think he's going to grow a lot.
"Yes it was a surprise that he decided not to come because we knew before that he has all arranged to sign the contract.
"But I repeat he had some reason that we must understand but the important thing is finally he decide to come."
Pellegrini was speaking after watching his side beat sister club Melbourne City 1-0 thanks to a stunning late volley from Samir Nasri, who the Chilean backed to enjoy a strong 2015-16 campaign.
"He didn't have a good season last season but I'm sure this [season] we will see again the Samir Nasri that we saw two seasons ago," Pellegrini added.
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