January 18, 2020 / 12:01 PM / a month ago

Mourinho takes swipe at Inter's Conte over Eriksen remark

(Reuters) - Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho has reignited his feud with Antonio Conte after the Italian coach discussed Christian Eriksen’s proposed transfer from the North London club to Inter Milan.

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - FA Cup Third Round Replay - Tottenham Hotspur v Middlesbrough - Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London, Britain - January 14, 2020 Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho Action Images via Reuters/Matthew Childs

Danish playmaker Eriksen will be out of contract at Spurs at the end of the season, and Italian media reports have linked him to a move to Conte’s Inter in the January transfer window.

Conte, who on Friday secured a deal for Manchester United defender Ashley Young, told Italian media: “Eriksen? We have to go to people who have already had a career, who are at the end of their contracts.”

Spurs have not received a bid from Inter for Eriksen, according to Mourinho, who said he felt Conte had broken a managerial code by publicly speaking about a player still contracted to another club.

“I think Antonio, he has said publicly (about Eriksen),” Mourinho told reporters.

“I think we coaches should all behave in the same way in relation to transfers. I think we should always be closed, until something happens.”

“You protect everybody. Is it a question of respect? I don’t want to give you a headline. That’s up to you.”

The two managers exchanged tit-for-tat verbal blows via the media when Mourinho was in charge of Manchester United and Conte was the Chelsea boss.

In the 2017-18 season Mourinho said he would never be “suspended for match-fixing”, referring to Conte’s four-month ban at Juventus for failing to report alleged match-fixing. In response, Conte branded his counterpart a “little man” and a “fake”.

Amid speculation about a possible transfer, Mourinho said he believed Eriksen deserves to have some clarity about his future at Spurs.

“I think he needs Jan. 31 to come and to be sure that he is going to stay until the end of the season or before Jan. 31 to know that he is leaving,” Mourinho added.

“The only situation is to try to get the best from the players, which is what I am trying to do.”

But he also made it plain a move was possible if a good offer came up.

“If we don’t have an offer to sell him, how can we sell him? It is as simple as that.”

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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