Jose Mourinho battled to avoid a war of words with Andre Villas-Boas on Friday but eventually confessed he "is not interested" in what the Tottenham boss has to say about their relationship.
Villas-Boas told French daily L'Equipe, via ESPN's Ian Holyman, that he was forced to step out from Mourinho's shadow after his compatriot would not listen to him during their time at Porto, Chelsea and Inter Milan.
Mourinho initially opted only to praise his Villas-Boas' dealings in the transfer market but eventually insisted in a press conference aired on Sky Sports News TV that he offered his ear to the Spurs boss, just as he does any coach:
I'm not keen to discuss personal relationships with the media. I think it's a personal thing and I'm not keen to discuss this with you.
I don't care what he says. I'm here not to comment on what he says. I'm not interested ...
I've had so many assistants in my career, I was an open book to all of them. I'm trying to do the same now at Chelsea.
I'm an open book. After that, if they want to read the book or not is their problem. It's not my problem.
Mourinho says Spurs are big contenders for the Premier League title and describes them as the champions of the transfer market. #CFC— Chelsea FC (@chelseafc) September 27, 2013
Villas-Boas had also offered some potentially inflammatory views on Juan Mata, via Neil Ashton of the Daily Mail Online, a player currently out of favour with Mourinho, who has told him to adapt his role within the side.
The Spurs boss, who tried to sign Mata in the summer, highlighted the fact he always played the Spaniard during his time as Chelsea manager, but Mourinho preferred to focus on Mata's current path of development at Stamford Bridge.
In Mourinho's eyes, the playmaker made a significant improvement in the League Cup win, in which Chelsea beat Swindon 2-0 with Mata creating the first goal. Charles Perrin of the Daily Express provides the quotes:
I liked the way Juan Mata played against Swindon. His attitude is very good and his effort was good.
When in a player makes an effort to come in my direction then I go to him as well.
I can imagine from now him working into my way of thinking and I think the natural tendency will for him to be in the team.
Chelsea head to Tottenham in Saturday's early kickoff this weekend.
It is the latest fixture in a heavy schedule for Chelsea, who recently added a Capital One Cup tie against Arsenal to their fixture list. Mourinho is clearly unhappy his team have to negotiate that tie days after they play Manchester City in the league, admitting the cup competition will suffer, per Chelsea's official Twitter feed:
Mourinho: 'We play Man City on Sunday before cup game v Arsenal on Tues, so our Under-21 side will probably have a great experience.' #CFC— Chelsea FC (@chelseafc) September 27, 2013
Such a fixture jam acts as proof as to why Mourinho felt the need to load up on attackers this summer, bringing in the likes of Willian and Samuel Eto'o to create competition for Mata and Co.
By challenging Mata to improve his game Chelsea should benefit in the future, and Spurs might be the first to suffer as a result this weekend.