Arsene Wenger declined to comment on allegations that Jose Mourinho wanted to “break his face” – insisting he wishes to be “constructive” rather than “destructive”.
The claims come from a new book written about Mourinho by journalist Robert Beasley and date back to the Portuguese’s time in charge of Chelsea, when Wenger was critical of their decision to sell Juan Mata to title rivals Manchester United during the January 2014 transfer window.
Wenger will tangle with Chelsea once more at Emirates Stadium on Saturday, with Antonio Conte in the opposing dugout on this occasion, and he was faintly amused by questions surrounding Mourinho’s apparent threat of violence during a pre-match news conference on Friday.
“I haven’t read the book and I certainly will not read it so I cannot comment on that,” he said.
“I talk about football and that’s all I do. I’m not in a destructive mode, never. I’m more constructive and I cannot comment on that.
“I am focused on tomorrow’s game and the way we want to play football.”
Wenger added: “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.
“I do not feel I comment a lot on other teams. Sometimes I say what I think, but that’s part of the way I am.
“What is amazing is that this has nothing to do with our game tomorrow. I personally am just focused on doing my job well and respecting everybody else.
“I will maybe make a book one day, but I am not ready for that yet.”
Arsenal and Chelsea sit level on 10 points apiece, with Mourinho’s United a point further back.