Diego Milito has made a sensational claim that Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho "invents" enemies in order to thrive off the conflict it creates.
The Portuguese has had a number of high-profile disputes with fellow managers, including with Arsene Wenger and Pep Guardiola - both of whom he will come face to face with next season.
Milito, who won the treble with Mourinho at Inter Milan in the 2009-10 campaign, believes that the self-proclaimed 'Special One' deliberately goes about winding up opposition coaches to fulfil his own needs.
"Sometimes he invents on purpose - Guardiola included," ESPN quotes the 37-year-old as saying. "Just go and ask Pep. He knows how to protect his team and always needs an enemy to be able to attack or defend his squad.
"Mourinho is a great leader of groups. We are talking about a coach of the highest level in the world. He makes sure that every player gives 100 percent, has the right word at the right moment and can be punishing when necessary."
Guardiola was quick to play down his rivalry with Mourinho when being unveiled as Manchester City manager earlier this week.