Arsene Wenger has laughed off suggestions that Jose Mourinho would like to ‘break his face’.
The alleged reaction is reported by journalist Rob Beasley in his new book about the Portuguese and was apparently provoked by comments the Frenchman made about Chelsea selling Juan Mata in January 2014.
Beasley recounts Mourinho telling him: “When Mr Wenger criticises Chelsea and Man United over the deal with Mata… I will find him one day outside a football pitch and I will break his face.”
With the story leaked just hours before Wenger’s pre-Chelsea press conference, the boss was always going to be asked about it.
Trying not to laugh, he replied: “I haven’t read the book and certainly will not read it.
“I cannot comment on that. I talk about football and that’s all I do. I’m not in a destructive mode, ever. I’m more constructive. I can’t comment on that. I talk about tomorrow’s game.
“Look I do not want to especially comment. I have no personal problem with anybody, I respect everybody in our game and I don’t feel I comment a lot on other teams. Sometimes I just say what I think, but that is part of the way I am.
Asked a second time about the story, he added, this time unable to stop himself laughing:
“What is amazing is that this has nothing to do with our game tomorrow. I personally am just focused on doing well my job and respecting everybody else.”
He then teased the assembled journalists with the possibility of one day penning his own explosive tome.
“I will maybe make a book one day, but I’m not ready for that today.”