LONDON: Jose Mourinho has refused to deny claims in a new book that he wanted to "break Arsene Wenger's face" but insisted he had a civilised meeting with the Arsenal manager recently.
The Manchester United manager also suggested that the author of the allegations was driven by a desire to make money off the back of his name and said there is no risk of the book threatening William Shakespeare in the literary stakes.
Rob Beasley, a former Sun journalist, alleges in Jose Mourinho: Up Close And Personal that the former Chelsea manager's emnity for Wenger ran so deep that he once wanted to physically fight the Frenchman after reacting angrily to critical comments his rival made about Chelsea's sale of Spanish midfielder Juan Mata to United in January 2014. Mourinho is alleged to have said: "When Mr Wenger criticises CFC and Man United over the deal with Mata?...?I will find him one day outside a football pitch and I will break his face."
Quizzed about the claims yesterday, Mourinho said: "It is the same thing. I am happy. He [Beasley] made his money, that is fine for
me. I met Arsene Wenger a couple of weeks ago [at a managers' meeting] and like civilised people we shook hands, we sat on the same table, we have dinner together with other people, we exchanged ideas.
"We were speaking because we are civilised people and again I don't think the book will be in the gallery of the Shakespeares and so on and I prefer just to not comment. It is my last word about it and again I repeat: he is making his money. That's fine by me."
Asked if he felt let down by Beasley, with whom he is thought to have had a close relationship during his two spells at Stamford Bridge, Mourinho added: "You can see how close he was."
Meanwhile, Claudio Ranieri has become the latest Premier League manager to bury the hatchet with Mourinho, with the Italian describing his feud with the Manchester United manager as "prehistoric" ahead of Leicester's trip to Old Trafford today.
Mourinho called Ranieri "a loser" when he replaced him at Chelsea but Ranieri said: "It's prehistoric. It was a long time ago. I love red wine, and if he offers I will drink it with him."