José Mourinho has made little effort to hide his disdain for Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger over the years, from their pitch-side shoving match to labelling the Frenchman a "specialist in failure".
But the depth of the Manchester United boss’ apparent hatred of Wenger has been revealed in a book by football journalist Rob Beasley, entitled José Mourinho: Up Close and Personal, which is due for release next week and has been serialised by The Daily Mail.
In the exerpts published by the Mail, Beasley reveals a series of emails and text messages exchanged with the then-Chelsea manager in which Mourinho lets rip on Wenger, after the Gunners’ boss had criticised the motives behind Chelsea selling Juan Mata to United in January 2014.
Wenger insinuated that, as Chelsea and United had already played each other twice, Mourinho had agreed to sell Mata to the Red Devils to give them a better chance of damaging Arsenal’s title bid — the North Londoners were top of the Premier League at the time.
"When Mr Wenger criticises CFC and Man United over the deal with Mata ... I will find him one day outside a football pitch and break his face." said Mourinho’s email to Beasley, allegedly.
And when Arsenal wanted to sign Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech in the summer of 2015, another email to Beasley revealed how Mourinho saw an opportunity to further antagonise Wenger.
"Mister Wenger wants Cech and he thinks about money ... he is wrong," Mourinho is said to have written. "What I say to him is f*** him ... Want Cech? OK, I want (Theo) Walcott or (Alex) Oxlade-Chamberlain!!! Want a top goalkeeper? OK, I want a young player, s*** with you but I can make him top."
The book also recounts a tale of when Mourinho referred to Rooney as "Fat Boy", as he attempted to sign the United player for Chelsea in 2013.
"I remember sitting in the lounge of the Madarin Oriental Hotel in Washington DC having dinner with my son Joashua when José sauntered over," Beasley writes. "The next thing my 12-year-old lad knew, the Chelsea boss was pushing him along to squeeze into the chair with him."
"José’s opening line was a corker: ‘What do you think of us trying to sign the Fat Boy?’
"Josh was caught out for a second and didn’t cotton on to the ‘Fat Boy’ joke at first. I started laughing and told him ‘He means Rooney — the Fat Boy is Rooney.’"