Jose Mourinho aimed a not-so-subtle dig at Jurgen Klopp after the Liverpool boss criticised Manchester United’s £89m purchase of Paul Pogba.
With the news that the Reds have shelled out a whopping £75m for Southampton defender Virgil van Dijk, Mourino couldn’t resist taking the chance to remind Klopp of his comments at the time of the Pogba transfer.
The German said then: “Other clubs can go out and spend more money and collect top players, yes. But if you bring one player in for £100m or whatever, and he gets injured, then it all goes through the chimney.
“Do I have to do it differently to that? Actually, I want to do it differently. I would even do it differently if I could spend that money. I want a special team spirit – I don’t feel it is necessary, I want it.
“The day that this is football, I’m not in a job anymore. Because the game is about playing together.”
In his press conference on Friday, Mourinho seemed to hint that he now considered Klopp’s comments to be hypocritical.
When asked about the Van Dijk deal, the United boss said: “I think the one to speak about it in a specific way has to be Jurgen, and if I was one of you I would ask him about his comments about one year ago,’ he said.
“Virgil van Dijk is the most expensive defender in history of football. Is he better than (Paolo) Maldini, (Giuseppe) Bergomi or (Rio) Ferdinand? You cannot say that, is just the way the market is and you pay or you don’t pay.
“If you pay obviously you pay a crazy amount of money but if you don’t you don’t have the player. Is as simple as that, so no critics at all about what Liverpool did, is just the way it is.
“But not speaking specifically about that case because in Liverpool they do what they want to do and I am nobody to comment on what they do.
“The reality is that if they think that the player is the right player for them and they really want the player, they pay his amount or they don’t have the player because that is the way the market is at that time.
“So when we compare now the amount of money certain managers and clubs spend, you cannot compare the realities.”