Jose Mourinho believes his fractious relationship with Arsene Wenger shows that the pair actually have a great deal of respect for each other, with the Arsenal boss confirming he will leave the Emirates at the end of the season.
The Manchester United manager has had several run ins with Wenger in the past, having famously described the Frenchman as a “specialist in failure” during one clash.
However, Mourinho cut a very different figure during this afternoon’s press conference, claiming “we respect each others’ careers.”
The Portuguese manager will of course have a chance to inflict one more defeat on Wenger before he leaves at the end of the campaign, when United host Arsenal next Sunday in the Premier League.
But in the meantime, Mourinho has aimed to bring their war of words to an amicable close.
“If he’s happy I’m happy, if he’s sad, I’m sad,” Mourinho told the media at his news conference this afternoon.
“I always wish the best for my opponents. You don’t know the way we respect each other even when sometimes it doesn’t look like we don’t.”
“Players that get yellow cards and red cards by aggressive actions against each other — the manager is the same thing but the ones that respect more each other are the ones with the problems.”
“It’s power and ambition and quality against each other but in the end it’s people from the same business and we respect each others’ careers,” the United boss added.
A definite change in Mourinho’s tune then!
Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers has been named among the favourites to replace Wenger this summer.