New Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has said he will not let his personal duel with Pep Guardiola escalate next season as he fears that would hand the initiative to one of their title rivals.
Mourinho, 53, and incoming Manchester City boss Guardiola have a celebrated rivalry forged by their time at Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively.
The frosty relationship between the pair reached a nadir when the Portuguese manager poked Guardiola’s assistant Tito Vilanova in the eye in 2011, sparking a melee between the players and coaching staff.
However, Mou insisted he will not instigate more rivalry when he gets down to work at Old Trafford, as they now find themselves in a completely different environment, Goal.com reports.
Speaking at Lisbon University, Mourinho said: “My experience does not allow me to be innocent.
“I was with Guardiola for two years in a league where either he or I would be the champion. Here, if I focus on him or he on me, the champion will be another (manager).”
Mourinho has been linked with a move for Sporting Lisbon midfielder Joao Mario but insists he has no intention of prising players from Portuguese clubs.
“I will not take anyone from here,” he added.