Premier League: Is Mourinho Making His Mark on Rivals Moyes and Wenger Already?

Ian RodgersWorld Football Staff WriterJuly 20, 2013

LONDON - DECEMBER 18:  Arsenal Manager Arsene Wenger (L) and Chelsea Manager Jose Mourinho (R) give instructions from the sidelines during the Barclays Premiership match between Arsenal and Chelsea at Highbury on December 18, 2005 in London, England.  (Photo by Ben Radford/Getty Images)
Ben Radford/Getty Images

To Chelsea supporters, Jose Mourinho will always be the Special One for what he achieved during his first spell in charge of the club between 2004 and 2007.

The former Real Madrid coach has returned to Stamford Bridge for a second time after a relatively disappointing season at the Bernabeu, but he was welcomed immediately by the adoring arms of Blues fans across the globe.

Mourinho never shied away from a verbal joust during his previous spell in West London, but does it look like some Premier League rivalries are about to be reignited courtesy of the transfer market?

The Chelsea boss called Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger a "voyeur" in October 2005 in response to a perceived slight by the Gunners chief, as Jon Brodkin of The Guardian reported.

I think he (Wenger) is one of these people who is a voyeur.

He likes to watch other people. There are some guys who, when they are at home, they have a big telescope to see what happens in other families. He speaks and speaks and speaks about Chelsea.

However, that incident was merely the start of a rivalry which continued beyond Mourinho's departure from Chelsea in September 2007, as Bleacher Report featured columnist James McNicholas outlined.

According to newspaper reports, the two managers are now jostling for position in the transfer market.

Mourinho has already made his move for Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney, a player Wenger raised an interest in earlier in the summer, as James Riach of The Guardian reported.

But was there a coded message to Rooney in Mourinho's comments to the press on Friday, as the Daily Telegraph noted?

Coming just after Wenger had insisted Arsenal could meet Rooney's wage demands, as Mark Irwin of The Sun reported, were Mourinho's comments also a shot across Wenger's bow?

On Friday, David Kent of the Daily Mail reported that the Gunners were monitoring the position of Chelsea midfielder Juan Mata, despite Mourinho's insistence that the Spain international was not leaving the club.

With Sir Alex Ferguson out of the picture following his retirement as Manchester United manager at the end of last season, both Mourinho and Wenger will recognise there is a vacancy for someone to dominate the Premier League.

Ferguson has been replaced by David Moyes, who remains untested at the very highest level despite the success he enjoyed in an 11-year spell with Everton.

While the new Old Trafford boss is fast discovering the increased intensity involved at United, most notably during the current uncertainty over Rooney's future, Mourinho appears to have an edge so far.

Moyes brushed off an initial interest from the former Inter Milan coach during an early press conference, but allowed his frustration to show hours after Mourinho took a second nibble at Rooney, as Mark Ogden of the Daily Telegraph reported.

Unless I was speaking double Dutch, I think I've said Wayne Rooney is not for sale.

People are entitled to talk about good players. I’m getting asked plenty of questions about Wayne and I’m sure Jose has been asked about lots of players as well.

But again, I'll keep repeating myself: Wayne is a Manchester United player and he will remain that.

Jose said the same thing: he doesn’t like to talk about players at other clubs. (He did) but it does happen.

Then, on Wednesday, Chelsea issued a statement insisting Mata and David Luiz had not been offered plus cash to United for Rooney "contrary to what is apparently being briefed to press in Sydney" where United are currently on tour, as Sam Wallace and Ian Herbert of The Independent highlighted.

Where the Rooney saga will turn next is anyone's guess, but the twists and turns so far have helped to open up a fiery opening for the new league season.


Which manager is winning the mind games so far? Let us know in the comments below.