Pep Guardiola has raised the temperature ahead of his latest meeting with Jose Mourinho, calling the Tottenham manager a "doctor" following his recent comments about Raheem Sterling.
Mourinho sparked a war of words ahead of Spurs' meeting with City this evening by claiming Guardiola pressured Gareth Southgate to allow Sterling to miss England's latest round of matches.
An angry Mourinho has demanded Southgate reveal the managers who asked him not to call up their stars for England's Nations League matches.
That has irked Guardiola, who said: “Maybe Mourinho is a doctor, I don’t know. He has to speak to the England national team doctor and the doctor for Manchester City.”
Mourinho hasn't been shy when it comes to levelling accusations City's way, recently claiming Guardiola's troops go to ground easily.
Guardiola refused to be drawn on his rival's comments, saying: “Listen, I’m not going to answer anything about Jose.
“I spoke about the doctor because he accused us of something that is not true.
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“You have to speak to the doctors about these other things, don’t ask me. I’m almost 50. I’m old enough to understand.”
The whole Sterling saga has irked Mourinho, who is eager for Southgate to explain his reasoning for leaving Sterling out of the squad.
“Of course we all know Sterling is going to play for City against us," he said.
“When Eric Dier left the national team injured in the past month, he didn’t play two matches for Tottenham.
“He didn’t play the Premier League match and the Europa League match. He needed a couple of weeks to recover. And Raheem is going to play.
“These are the little details that I think Gareth should explain to us all. Gareth, I read, supposedly told that some club managers put pressure on the players not to play for the national team.
“And because of that, he feels sometimes the need to call club managers to cool down the emotions and control a difficult situation for him.
“I’d like him to say who. I’d like him to say which are the coaches who put pressure on the players not to play.
“And I would like him to say which are the coaches that he calls and speaks on the phone with them. He has the right, the power to call the players he wants.
“He wants to win matches, especially after a defeat the next match — even being a dead rubber — is an important match. I sympathise totally with that.”
Sterling's omission from the latest England squad has clearly irked Mourinho, but would he be frustrated if the winger scored against his troops this evening?
He said: “I think that question is not for me. I think you have to wait until March and ask that question to the person you have to ask.”
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