Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte has no regrets over his escalating feud with Jose Mourinho.
Conte has become embroiled in a war of words with his Manchester United counterpart over the past week after Mourinho made reference to unnamed coaches behaving like “clowns on the touchline”.
This was widely interpreted as a swipe at the ever-animated Conte, who responded by accusing Mourinho of having “demenza senile” in his native Italian – Chelsea later maintained their boss was searching for the word for amnesia – and forgetting his actions in the past.
The Portuguese then took the invitation to delve into Conte’s past and reference the ex-Juventus and Italy coach’s four-month ban for allegedly failing to report match-fixing at his former club Siena.
The 48-year-old was subsequently cleared of any wrongdoing and branded Mourinho a “little man” after Chelsea’s 0-0 FA Cup draw against Norwich City on Saturday.
Chelsea are back in action against Arsenal in the first leg of their EFL Cup semi-final at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday and, with the unseemly spat still prominent in the pre-match discussion, Conte insisted he had no cause to question his own conduct.
“I have this look – a person that regrets? I don’t think so,” he said.
“I think we both said the things and we’ll see what happens in future.”
Antonio Conte’s pre-Arsenal press conference is coming up at around 1.30pm (UK) today… pic.twitter.com/Q7yE13K5Sz
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) January 9, 2018
Conte went on to reject suggestions that the League Managers’ Association or either club could be needed to step in and mediate on a matter of personal dislike.
“I think it is not important for the Association, it’s not important,” he said. “[Mourinho] said serious words and used serious words. I won’t forget this.
“This is not a problem for the clubs. It is a problem between me and him.”
Chelsea beat United 1-0 at Stamford Bridge in November and travel to Old Trafford for the reverse Premier League fixture on February 25.
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