Jose Mourinho reignites Antonio Conte feud over potential Christian Eriksen transfer to Inter Milan

Sam Dean
“I think we coaches, we should all behave in the same way in relation to transfers,” Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho said.  - Tottenham Hotspur FC

Jose Mourinho has reignited his feud with Antonio Conte as he grows increasingly unhappy with Inter Milan’s pursuit of Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Christian Eriksen.

Mourinho does not feel the Italians have submitted a serious offer for Eriksen and has been angered by the conduct of Conte, the Inter head coach, who publicly discussed his desire to sign players whose contracts are expiring when he was asked about Eriksen.

Mourinho’s feud with Conte dates back to the Italian’s time as Chelsea manager, with the pair consistently making sniping comments at each other until the rivalry escalated dramatically in 2018, when Conte described Mourinho as a “little man” and “fake”.

Eriksen has made it clear he will not sign a new deal in north London and the clubs are in discussions over a move this month, but Mourinho said on Friday that Tottenham have not yet received a serious offer to sell the player.

Mourinho has once again been unimpressed with Conte and the Tottenham manager has insisted that managers should always be “closed” when discussing possible signings and refuse to speak about players at other clubs.

“I think we coaches, we should all behave in the same way in relation to transfers,” he said. “I know that for you [the media] it is not the best way. But I think we should always be closed, until something really happens.

“So when you ask me about player A, B or C, how can I speak about three players that are not my players? I think we should always be protective. When I see people with responsibilities, speaking about Eriksen…”

Asked to clarify his comments on those from Inter who had been speaking about Eriksen, Mourinho said: “I think Antonio. I think Antonio.”

When asked about Eriksen earlier this week, Conte had said: “We will have to develop all ideas and go for people… whose contract is running out.”

Piero Ausilio, the Inter sporting director, has also said the club has “confidence” regarding their moves for Eriksen and for Chelsea forward Olivier Giroud.

Christian Eriksen looks to be on his way out of Tottenham Credit: Getty Images

Mourinho, the former Inter manager, went on to say “that’s not my Inter” when asked if the current situation might affect his relationship with the club where he won the treble in 2010.

“This is not my Inter,” he said. “I have no connections with the people [running the club] so I think it’s nothing to do with that. Nothing can change my feeling with Inter. It’s not a situation with a player that is going to change my feeling with the club and the fans. No chance.”

Mourinho said Eriksen will be in the Tottenham squad for Saturday’s meeting with Watford, as will new signing Gedson Fernandes.

“He is a kid that can play different positions in midfield, even wide on the right if we need,” said Mourinho of Fernandes. “We got him for his multi-functionality.”