Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho tried to cool his ongoing feud with Chelsea counterpart Antonio Conte, but acknowledged having “contempt” for the Italian.
The pair’s war of words began when Mourinho seemingly labelled some of his contemporaries – without naming any individuals – “clowns” for their behaviour on the touchline, to which Conte suggested the Portuguese coach was referring to himself.
Mourinho responded with another barb relating to the Italian’s four-month ban for failing to report alleged match fixing – of which he was later acquitted – while at Siena in 2011, saying “what never happened to me and will never happen is to be suspended for match fixing”.
Conte then branded the United boss a “little man” and Mourinho, while refraining from retaliating again, made his opinion of the Chelsea head coach clear.
Speaking at a news conference ahead of Monday’s visit of Stoke City, he said: “I think when a person insults another you can expect a response, or you can expect contempt.
“The first time he insulted me I had response, a response that I know touched the point where he really feels hurt.
“Then he insults me for a second time, but now I change and now contempt [is there]. And for me, contempt means end of the story.”