Roberto Mancini claims he and Jose Mourinho are not friends and suggests that is the way the Chelsea manager likes it.
The Italian stoked the flames ahead of Galatasaray's UEFA Champions League first-leg tie with Chelsea last month by suggesting that he built the Inter team that won the treble under Mourinho in 2009-10.
But the former Manchester City boss insisted that they were fair comments and that Mourinho took them to heart as Chelsea and Mancini's Galatasaray prepare to clash again in the return game at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday with the last-16 tie finely balanced at 1-1.
"I said some perfectly normal things," he told La Repubblica newspaper.
"But someone stirred it up into controversy and he really did get offended.
"In Istanbul we saw each other and only said 'hello'. We certainly aren't friends.
"I don't think Mourinho wants to have friends, or maybe that's just the way he likes to appear."
Mancini was more complimentary about Antonio Conte's Juventus side, saying that the runaway Serie A leaders evoked memories of the Inter team he was in charge of between 2004 and 2008.
"I think Juventus can reach 100 points (this season)," he said. "We nearly did it seven years ago with Inter.
"This Juve really reminds me of our Inter, as we were just too strong for the rest.
"We had Patrick Vieira and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Julio Cesar and Douglas Maicon, who I had sought out, then Hernan Crespo, Luis Figo, Dejan Stankovic.
"Juve have the best players, but that's not enough to win, as you need the right attitude. In that sense, Conte did a great job."
|Pereira replaces Villas-Boas at Shanghai SIPG|
|Van Gaal rejected Leverkusen to hold out for a ´big club´|
|Inzaghi and Lazio left feeling ´defrauded´ after Torino defeat|
|Man United more boring under Mourinho, claims Van Gaal|
|Zidane: Real Madrid want to win Club World Cup|
|Morata ruled out of Huddersfield trip due to ´impossible´ workload|
|Valverde singles out Hazard & Morata as chief Chelsea threats|
|Lazio 1 Torino 3: Inzaghi´s men lose ground as Immobile sees red|
|Reading 2 Cardiff City 2: Late comeback makes light of Warnock dismissal|
|Wagner received no contact over Borussia Dortmund job|
|A Mourinho myth? Man United booked for simulation more than any Premier League side|
|Ronaldo´s ego is his biggest motivator - Valdano|
|Bayern threaten legal action over Leno transfer rumours|
|Potter delighted by underdog Ostersunds´ trip to Arsenal|
|Chelsea can bounce back from West Ham loss, says Conte|
|Real Madrid will relish PSG test, says Xabi Alonso|
|Conte urges Chelsea to be ´positive´ over Barca Champions League draw|
|Heynckes wary of Besiktas threat|
|Ostersunds handed fairytale Arsenal tie, Napoli face Leipzig|
|Emery: PSG ´can compete with Real Madrid´|
|Totti urges Roma focus on Serie A despite encouraging Champions League draw|
|Europa League: Last 32 draw in full|
|Messi faces toughest foe in Champions League|
|AC Milan signed too many players, admits Fassone|
|Real Madrid face PSG, Chelsea drawn with Barcelona|
|FA seeking information over Manchester derby incident|
|He is one of the best strikers in the Premier League - Wilshere hails Giroud|
|Mata: No time to mourn derby defeat|
|Hitzfeld tells Nagelsmann to honour Hoffenheim contract|
|Amor: Mascherano future to become clear soon|
|Huddersfield confident of Chelsea scalp - Ince|
|De Bruyne: Man City have to enjoy derby victory|
|There is no-one like Messi – Alcacer|
|Kane: Bring on the best in Champions League|
|Neville: Lukaku needs to believe amid Man United struggles|
|Messi best player of all time – Rakitic|
|Gattuso: I´m even tense playing football with my son|
|Suarez admits Villarreal red swung it for Barcelona|
|Villarreal win ´crucial´ for Barcelona boss Valverde|
|Villarreal 0 Barcelona 2: Suarez, Messi restore five-point LaLiga lead|
|AC Milan 2 Bologna 1: Bonaventura brace breaks Gattuso´s duck|
|Guardiola: Man City are an honest team|
|Mourinho: Herrera denied clear penalty in derby defeat|
|Mourinho admits title race ´probably´ over|
|Simeone defends Atleti´s style after battling win over Betis|
|Manchester City´s 14th win on the spin sets new top-flight record|
|Manchester United 1 Manchester City 2: Otamendi strikes massive blow in Premier League title race|
|Allardyce praises ´brave´ Pawson after penalty decision|
|Atletico Madrid set club-record unbeaten run in LaLiga|
|Ajax 3 PSV 0: Eredivisie title race gets new lease of life|
|Klopp involved in post-match spat with reporter|
|Rooney backs awarding of ´clear penalty´|
|Real Betis 0 Atletico Madrid 1: Rojiblancos make history to assuage Champions League pain|
|Klopp rages at referee after late penalty denies Liverpool|
|Liverpool 1 Everton 1: Late Rooney penalty secures unlikely derby draw|
|Napoli 0 Fiorentina 0: Sarri´s men miss chance to usurp Inter|
|Martial and Rashford both start Manchester derby as Jesus edges out Aguero|
|Neuer in no doubt over World Cup fitness|
|Wenger labels Saints sinners over time-wasting|
|Super-sub Giroud celebrates being Arsenal´s saviour again|
|Southampton 1 Arsenal 1: Super-sub Giroud rescues last-gasp point|
|Firmino and Coutinho on bench for Merseyside derby|
|Stoger ready to grab ´incredible opportunity´ at Dortmund|
|Courtois keen to resolve Chelsea future|
|Borussia Dortmund sack Bosz, bring in Stoger|
|Melbourne City 1 Central Coast Mariners 0: McCormack eases Cahill blues|
|Dortmund to hold news conference with Bosz on the brink|
|Guardiola: I would retire if possession football did not work|
|There´s no comparison, Ronaldo is best – Marcelo|
|Baker Mayfield wins Heisman Trophy|
|Bradley revels in ´dream´ MLS Cup success|
|Valverde unsure about Mascherano future|
|Allegri pleased with Juve display|
|Mourinho highlights City´s tactical fouls to ramp up ref pressure|
|Spalletti makes his point as Inter show they belong in Serie A title race|
|Toronto FC 2 Seattle Sounders 0: Altidore and Vazquez seal MLS Cup and historic treble|