Jose Mourinho once threatened to ‘break Arsene Wenger’s face’, according to claims in the Daily Mail.
Mourinho and Wenger have had a storied history since the Portuguese was first appointed Chelsea manager in 2004, with their relationship often played out publicly in the form of insults.
In a new book serialised by the Daily Mail, Rob Beasley, dubbed as ‘the sports journalist who knows better than anyone what makes Jose Mourinho tick’, claims that the current Manchester United manager once threatened to hit Wenger during his second stint at Chelsea.
‘In the summer of 2013 Mourinho returned to the Premier League with Chelsea, once again becoming a direct rival of the Arsenal boss. It didn’t take long for hostilities to be renewed,’ Beasley writes in his book, Jose Mourinho: Up Close and Personal.
‘The following January Wenger spoke out about Chelsea’s plans to sell star midfielder Juan Mata to Manchester United for £37million.
‘Asked if he was surprised at the move, Wenger replied: “Yes I am, because they sell a great player to a direct opponent.”
‘He then made the point that Chelsea had already played United twice that season so Mata could not hurt them but his quality could hurt teams like Arsenal who had only played United once. “It opens up again questions about the dates of this transfer window,” said Wenger.
‘Mourinho saw this as yet more evidence of Wenger’s obsession with all things Chelsea but for once he bit his tongue. That all changed the following month.
‘Wenger had made a thinly disguised dig about Mourinho deliberately playing down Chelsea’s chances of being crowned champions because of a “fear to fail”. It was too much for the ultra-competitive Mourinho to resist, so when he was asked about Wenger’s comments he let fly.
‘”You know, he is a specialist in failure. Eight years without a piece of silverware, that’s failure. If I do that at Chelsea I leave London and I don’t come back.”
‘Mourinho had carried out a cold-blooded assassination of his enemy in broad daylight. Inevitably it was too gory for some, who believed Jose’s brutal honesty was too vicious and vindictive. Not to him it wasn’t.
‘A few days later he was still pumped up about it all, telling me: “When Mr Wenger criticises CFC and Man United over the deal with Mata…I will find him one day outside a football pitch and I will break his face.”‘
Who knew Juan Mata could get the blood boiling so much?