Wednesday 18 September 2019

Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte called a truce after getting 'bored' with attacking each other

Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte
Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte

James Ducker

Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte buried the hatchet over a drink in the Manchester United manager’s office at Old Trafford in February after admitting they got “bored” attacking each other.

Mourinho and Conte – who face each other in the FA Cup final at Wembley on Saturday evening – became embroiled in an ugly war of words in January.

The Chelsea manager accused Mourinho of having "senile dementia" after taking the Portuguese's claims that he did not need to behave like a"clown" on the touchline to show his passion as a personal dig at him. Conte is known for his exuberance on the touchline.

Mourinho responded by dragging up a match-fixing scandal in which Conte was involved, while in charge of Serie B side Siena, despite later being cleared of any wrongdoing. The Italian reacted by deriding his United counterpart as a "little man" and a "fake". Mourinho later said he held Conte in "contempt".

But Mourinho has revealed that he and Conte called a truce after United's 2-1 Premier League win over Chelsea at Old Trafford in February and insisted there would be no ill feeling on the touchline at Wembley.

"He [Conte] stretched out, I stretched, we got bored [arguing]," Mourinho told Record newspaper in Portugal. "After the game here in Manchester, I invited him to come to my office. We talked, nothing's wrong."

Mourinho, meanwhile, has revealed that he plans to appoint a new coach with whom he has worked before following the impending departure of assistant manager Rui Faria. Mourinho is also expected to promote internally while retiring captain Michael Carrick has joined the coaching staff.

"There's a person coming who worked with me before but I can't say the name because he's still linked to another club," Mourinho said. "Michael Carrick becomes a coach on the pitch but I'm looking for two new people on the team. Good coaches there are many, but I like to make my assistants. I do not like trained coaches, I like to shape them in my way of thinking and they grow with me and I also grow with them."

Anthony Martial was part of the United squad, along with Romelu Lukaku and Marouane Fellaini, who have travelled to London ahead of the Cup final.

Martial had been a doubt for the game with a knee injury sustained in training last Friday but the forward's longer term future at Old Trafford has not been helped by his omission from the France squad for the World Cup finals in Russia this summer. Juventus are among the clubs interested in signing him.

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