Jose Mourinho has declined an invitation to meet fans of Manchester United to discuss tension between manager and supporters.
Criticism of United’s playing style in recent games against Liverpool and Tottenham has irked Mourinho.
The Red Devils boss wrote in his programme notes ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League clash with Benfica: “I hope that you enjoy the game more than some of you did against Tottenham.”
Mourinho then hit out at fans for what he perceived as a lack of support for striker Romelu Lukaku during his current goalless run.
The Manchester United Supporters Trust invited Mourinho to talk to fans’ representatives about his concerns, but the Portuguese said: “I cannot meet a quarter of the planet.
“I think a quarter of the planet is Manchester United red. I cannot meet them.”
Mourinho could face heat on Sunday, although not from his own fans, as he takes United to Stamford Bridge to face former club Chelsea.
The reception for Chelsea’s most successful manager on his first return with United 12 months ago was hardly warm, and it was a grim day all round for Mourinho as the home side romped to a 4-0 win.
Mourinho insisted he has no problem with Chelsea fans reacting negatively to him during the match.
“That’s not a problem at all,” he said. “I walk in the street and outside the football heat I get so many Chelsea fans, especially in the area where I live, and I didn’t have one single one that wasn’t nice.
“What happened in the football stadium is a different thing. When I go to Stamford Bridge, I am the manager of their opponent so I accept every possible reaction with the utmost respect.”