Everton manager Roberto Martinez has criticised the conduct of his predecessor David Moyes in attempting to sign Leighton Baines and Marouane Fellaini for Manchester United.
The Toffees this week announced they had rejected a £28million joint bid from Old Trafford for the two players as "derisory and insulting".
Moyes followed up by suggesting Everton should let the pair leave for the good of their careers.
Martinez insists he does not want to get into a war of words with Moyes but was clearly far from happy when questioned after his side's goalless draw with West Brom on Saturday.
United have had their own difficulties over the summer, most notably concerning the future of Wayne Rooney, and Martinez alluded to the that as he responded to Moyes' remarks.
The Spaniard said: "I think my comment is quite clear. If managers start talking about players who are registered at other clubs, that is the end of the whole thing.
"I think everyone should look after their own things internally.
"I am sure they have got many issues in the same manner and I could easily come out and give my opinions about these players but I will be more respectful than that.
"The business should be done quietly. It is really unfortunate when you read papers and people talk about your players.
"I could sit down and give you half an hour with my vision of how the other club is being run, the players they want to go and how they should be sending messages to all the clubs around the world that they have been trying to sign players and haven't been able to do it.
"Everyone has got a price (but) when you invest money in a player and five years later you get offered the same money after performing really well, that becomes a little bit of a nonsense.
"The last thing I want is to get into a media war with a manager I really respect."
Moyes signed Baines for the Toffees from Wigan for £6million in 2007 with Fellaini arriving from Standard Liege for £15million the following year.
United's offer for them is believed to break down as £12million for Baines and £16million for Fellaini.
Martinez does not believe Moyes would have considered selling them for such a price.
He said: "As a new manager, I am following the structure we have at the football club.
"I heard in the past that Everton never sold cheap."
Everton are now bracing themselves for an improved offer from United for the pair but Martinez insists the club have never considered a fee they might be prepared to sell at.
He said: "Remember that the position we have got is we don't want to sell, so then you haven't got a figure.
"I am not going to go along with the circus the transfer window can become. It has been a bit of a farce really."
Martinez had no problem with the club going public over the matter after news of the bid had been reported in the media.
"The unfortunate matter is the offer was in the paper before it was made," he said.
"They did waste their time. When you put an offer that is below what you spend, I am sure you expect it to be rejected.
"That is a question you should put to the people who put the offer in."
Martinez certainly had no concerns about playing Baines and Fellaini against the Baggies at Goodison Park.
Both performed well and Fellaini went the closest to scoring with a late shot that hit the post.
Martinez said: "They are true professionals. They are true ambassadors of Everton and they have been here for a long time and they know how to perform and give everything they have."
Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard also praised the professionalism of Baines and Fellaini and is keen for them to stay on Merseyside.
The American, himself a former United player, said: "Felli and Baines have been brilliant.
"Other clubs have got some idiots who don't turn up to training or train with the reserves.
"These guys (Fellaini and Baines) train so hard, they are out there working as hard as anyone else.
"What goes on in the boardroom is not down to me.
"Of course I want them to stay. They have been brilliant for us."