CHELSEA manager Jose Mourinho has denied attempting to engage major rival Manchester United boss David Moyes in psychological warfare before the new season has even begun.
Mourinho insists his suggestion that teams who delay their business until late in the transfer window are needlessly putting themselves under pressure was not a veiled dig at Moyes.
The new United manager, who suffered his second defeat in three pre-season outings yesterday, has indicated he may leave it late as he chases major signings, including Barcelona’s Cesc Fabregas.
“If to say my colleague in United is a great coach, deserves success, deserves time to work, didn’t win trophies at Everton because it’s difficult to win trophies there – if that is playing mind games, what would you say if I speak bad about him?” said Mourinho. “The best thing is not to speak, and if I don’t speak no one says nothing.”
Mourinho and Moyes’s relationship is complicated by suggestions that the Portuguese wanted the United job before joining Chelsea, and his current pursuit of Wayne Rooney.
United have rejected two bids from Chelsea for the unsettled striker, who Mourinho has declared his only remaining target, and Moyes yesterday reiterated their opposition to a sale.
“We have said he is not for sale. That has not changed,” said Moyes, who expects the injured forward to rejoin the squad for a friendly in Sweden on 6 August.
Chelsea have signed Chilean teenager Cristian Cuevas from O’Higgins. The diminutive 18-year-old can play left-back or left midfield.