Manchester United boss Mourinho and his counterpart Conte have traded insults over the last 10 days, with Chelsea’s manager accusing Mourinho of going senile and calling him a “little man”.
That was in response to two barbs from Mourinho who inferred Conte was “a clown” for his touchline theatrics and then brought up his “match-fixing” charge from his days in Italy.
But on his arrival back from Manchester United‘s week of warm weather training in Dubai, Mourinho was quick to resume the verbal slanging match once again.
“I think when a person insults another you can expect a response,” he said. “Or you can expect contempt.
“The first time he insulted me I had a response, a response that I know that touched the point where he really feels hurt.
“Then he insulted me for a second time but now I change and now [I have] contempt. And for me contempt means the end of the story.”
Mourinho’s comments are the latest in a sparring match which goes back to the United boss taking aim at Conte and Liverpool counterpart Jurgen Klopp.
“Because I don’t behave as a clown on the touchline, it means that I’ve lost my passion?” he said.
“I prefer to behave the way I’m doing it. Much more mature, better for my team, better for myself.
“I don’t think you have to behave like a crazy guy on the touchline to have that passion.”
Conte responded to Mourinho’s comments before and after Chelsea’s FA Cup showdown with Norwich.
“It’s true I was banned for four months by the sporting justice for failure to report,” said Conte, after Mourinho responded to his “senile dementia” comment by bringing up the match-fixing scandal he was embroiled in.
“Then I asked for a retrial by court and then they declared it nonsense.
“Before you make these kind of comments you must pay great attention, because you show you are a little man.
“In the past he was a little man in many circumstances, he’s a little man in the present and for sure he will be a little man in the future. I consider him a little man and I consider him a man with a very low profile.”
Mourinho and Conte have gone head-to-head four times since they filled the Old Trafford and Stamford Bridge hotseats respectively in 2016.
Chelsea have come out on top on three of those occasions, with Alvaro Morata’s header earning the Blues a 1-0 home win in November.
Mourinho and Conte will come face to face when Chelsea visit United in the Premier League next month.