Antonio Conte has insisted his feud with Jose Mourinho is personal and that no one should intervene.
The Chelsea boss has vowed “I won’t forget” Mourinho’s criticism, after the Manchester United manager hit out at Conte over match-fixing.
Conte branded Mourinho a “little man” after Chelsea’s goalless FA Cup third-round draw at Norwich on Saturday, and has now stood by those comments.
The former Juventus boss insisted he has no regrets over responding to Mourinho, but moved to shut down any further discussion of their falling out.
“Do I have the look of a person with regret? I don’t think so,” said Conte.
“I think we both said things, and we’ll see what happens in future.”
Mourinho escalated the war of words with Conte by claiming he would never be “suspended for match-fixing” in a clear reference to the ex-Italy boss’ four-month ban.
Conte was hit with a four-month suspension at Juventus in the 2012-13 season for failing to report match-fixing at previous club Siena. He was later acquitted of any wrongdoing.
Asked if the League Managers’ Association (LMA) should now intervene to try and repair the damage between Conte and Mourinho, the Chelsea boss said: “I think it’s not important, the association, you understand. It’s not important.
“He said serious words, he has used serious words. And I won’t forget this.
“This is not a problem for the club, it’s a problem between me and him. Now I stop. Stop.”
Conte insisted he has no hatred for any rival manager despite his spat with Mourinho, and also claimed he has no issue with Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger ahead of their clash in Wednesday’s Carabao Cup semi-final first leg at Stamford Bridge.
Conte claimed Arsenal were “lucky” with refereeing decisions when the two sides drew 2-2 in the Premier League earlier in January, after Wenger had criticised official Anthony Taylor for awarding Chelsea a penalty when Eden Hazard went down in the penalty area.
“For sure I made a comment to Arsene because he mentioned my player, otherwise I have respect for what every coach thinks,” said Conte.
“In this case I made a comment became he mentioned Hazard. But every coach has their own opinion and we must respect it if you don’t offend anyone.”
Jokingly asked to comment on joining Wenger in a hatred of Mourinho, Conte added: “This is not true. I don’t hate anyone.”
Conte, who insisted Chelsea will attempt to continue strengthening their squad in January, admitted the Blues worked hard to lure Virgil van Dijk to Stamford Bridge, before the Holland defender eventually signed for Liverpool in a record £75million deal.
Asked if he was disappointed not to recruit Van Dijk, Conte said: “This is football. This is life. For sure he was our target but as you know this is football.
“We can have a lot of targets but you must be able to reach those targets. The transfer market is not simple for any club.”
“I am a fan of Mourinho, but I’m not fully happy about the way he plays,” the superstar sprinter said in an interview with Yahoo Sports and the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. “He plays like Louis Van Gaal, more defensive and passing. That’s not fun for us.
“We are used to Alex Ferguson, attack, attack, and counter-attack at pace. That is what we are used to, but this is different.”
Bolt was reserved in his criticism of Mourinho, saying United would be faring better if they converted more of their chances and suggesting that despite the presence of Romelu Lukaku, the club should prioritise the signing of a striker in the ongoing transfer window.
Will they ever meet?
Usain Bolt is pushing HARD for that Man Utd move. 🇯🇲 pic.twitter.com/aFCsNSzJfR
— Goal UK (@GoalUK) January 9, 2018
“I cannot say he (Mourinho) is doing bad…we just need a striker. We are creating a lot of chances, but we need a guy who is an outright striker. I feel he should find someone who is a goalscorer in the transfer window.
“He plays slow and boring football, but the guys are getting chances. If we were taking those chances, we wouldn’t be in the position we are in now.
“Lukaku is there, but he is not refined…in probably two years, he will be better. Right now, I think he is in the learning process.”
That take on his chest and the build up to his own goal.
What a way to come back roaring at your critics Lukaku.🔥 pic.twitter.com/m8KtxPcvqQ
— Kiran Ragh (@krwarrier) January 5, 2018
Bolt is good friends with United’s star midfielder Paul Pogba, and believes critics have been harsh on the Frenchman this season.
“I feel like the criticism he gets is unfair. He is making keys passes, he has had some back luck. If he gets a striker who is really good, a guy like Van Nistelrooy or Harry Kane…
“He needs a striker who has good movement in front of him and Pogba will pick the pass because he is a brilliant passer.”
Quotes taken from Usain Bolt’s interview with Yahoo Sports and the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure in the Bahamas.
Danish international Andreas Christensen’s impressive performances for Chelsea this season were rewarded on Tuesday with a new long-term contract at the Premier League champions.
The 21-year-old central defender – who has been with Chelsea since he was 15 – has signed a new four-and-a-half year contract after replacing David Luiz as a first choice central defender following some fine displays since returning to London from two seasons on loan with Bundesliga club Borussia Moenchengladbach.
“It feels really good to sign a new contract and I’m just happy to be committed to Chelsea for the future,” Christensen told the club website.
“I’ve played a lot of games (22 in all competitions), I’m enjoying it at the club and everything is working well.”
Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia said the contract was a tribute to Christensen’s performances this term.
“This contract is reward for the excellent form Andreas has shown in the first half of the season,” she said.
“He showed immense potential when he signed for Chelsea in 2012 and is now enjoying the benefits of the dedication and professionalism he has shown since.
“After two seasons on loan in Germany we were convinced he was ready to be a part of the squad this season and he has grasped the opportunity with both hands.”