Arsène Wenger has refused to be drawn into a verbal confrontation with José Mourinho after claims the Portuguese once said he wanted to “break his face”.
Wenger said he was not in “a destructive mode”, but was focused instead on Saturday’s Premier League match against Mourinho’s former club Chelsea.
Mourinho, the current Manchester United manager, is the subject of a new biography serialised in the Daily Mail which details alleged conversations with a football journalist – including talk of an exchange involving Wenger which reportedly ended with Mourinho saying: “I will find him one day outside a football pitch and I will break his face.”
Wenger and Mourinho have never seen eye to eye and clashed on a number of occasions when the Portuguese was in charge of Chelsea.
“Look, I haven’t read the book and I certainly won’t read it,” said Wenger. “I cannot comment on that. I talk about football and that’s all I do. I’m not in a destructive mode, ever. I’m more constructive and I cannot comment on that because I’m focused on tomorrow’s game and how we want to play football.
“What is amazing is that has nothing to do with our game tomorrow. I personally am just focused on doing my job well and respecting everybody else.
“I do not want to especially comment because we play Chelsea tomorrow. I have no personal problem with anybody, I respect everybody in our game and I don’t feel I comment a lot on other teams. Sometimes I just say what I think, but that is part of the way I am.”
Asked if everyone will have to wait for Wenger’s autobiography to read his opinion on Mourinho, the Frenchman replied: “I don’t know, I will maybe make a book one day but I am not ready for that yet.”