Jose Mourinho and Antonio Conte clashed during their time in England and the Inter boss was forced to respond to criticism from his rival
Antonio Conte insists there are “no problems” between himself and Jose Mourinho after his old rival took a swipe at him over Inter’s pursuit of Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen.
Inter have been extensively linked with Denmark playmaker Eriksen, who is out of contract at Spurs at the end of the season.
Speaking ahead of his team’s 0-0 Premier League draw at Watford, Mourinho expressed distaste over what he perceived to be a public courtship of his player.
“I think Antonio. He has said publicly [about Eriksen],” Mourinho said.
“We coaches should all behave in the same way in relation to transfers. I think we should always be closed, until something happens.
“I think we shouldn’t speak about players from other clubs until they become our players.”
Addressing a pre-match news conference for Inter’s Serie A trip to Lecce, Conte appeared mindful of reigniting the bitter feud that raged between the two men in early 2018 when they were in charge of Chelsea and Manchester United.
“No not at all,” he replied when asked whether he had a problem with Mourinho’s comments.
“I think it’s business as usual. I know Mourinho, there are no problems.”
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— Inter (@Inter_en) January 18, 2020
One player already secured by Inter during the January window is Ashley Young, who arrived from Manchester United this week.
“He has just signed, he needs time to adapt,” Conte said. “He might be ready for the Cagliari game [in Serie A next weekend].
“He is experienced, he is 34, he has been there and done it. At United, he was playing lots of positions so he is a versatile player. He started as a winger but can play full-back and he is a reliable player.
“I need players like that. He is a player who can complete the squad. We need those type of players.
“I think he will settle in well, he can play in a 3-5-2, he has the abilities to play for Inter.
“He has lots of experience behind him and is very enthusiastic. He was not playing much at United, the only issue I could foresee is getting him up to full match fitness.”
Conte dismissed suggestions Matias Vecino could be Premier League bound, with Carlo Ancelotti’s Everton reported to be among the potential suitors for the Uruguay midfielder, while he also addressed Matteo Politano’s future after the collapse of a proposed swap deal with Roma involving Leonardo Spinazzola.
“Vecino is not available,” he said.
“Politano – the players know I made a technical decision. As for the rest, you have to ask the others.
“The technical decisions are something I am happy to accept. My door is always open. I am happy to discuss the situation. These are situations that have to be handled.
“Politano thought he was a Roma player, he wanted to go there, but it did not happen. There is still time before the window closes, so we will see how it goes.”