Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte has no regrets over his escalating feud with Jose Mourinho.
Conte has become embroiled in a war of words with his Manchester United counterpart over the past week after Mourinho made reference to unnamed coaches behaving like “clowns on the touchline”.
This was widely interpreted as a swipe at the ever-animated Conte, who responded by accusing Mourinho of having “demenza senile” in his native Italian – Chelsea later maintained their boss was searching for the word for amnesia – and forgetting his actions in the past.
The Portuguese then took the invitation to delve into Conte’s past and reference the ex-Juventus and Italy coach’s four-month ban for allegedly failing to report match-fixing at his former club Siena.
The 48-year-old was subsequently cleared of any wrongdoing and branded Mourinho a “little man” after Chelsea’s 0-0 FA Cup draw against Norwich City on Saturday.
Chelsea are back in action against Arsenal in the first leg of their EFL Cup semi-final at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday and, with the unseemly spat still prominent in the pre-match discussion, Conte insisted he had no cause to question his own conduct.
“I have this look – a person that regrets? I don’t think so,” he said.
“I think we both said the things and we’ll see what happens in future.”
Conte went on to reject suggestions that the League Managers’ Association or either club could be needed to step in and mediate on a matter of personal dislike.
“I think it is not important for the Association, it’s not important,” he said. “[Mourinho] said serious words and used serious words. I won’t forget this.
“This is not a problem for the clubs. It is a problem between me and him.”
Chelsea beat United 1-0 at Stamford Bridge in November and travel to Old Trafford for the reverse Premier League fixture on February 25.