England manager Fabio Capello maintains that he would never comment on rumours that Jose Mourinho was the Football Association's first choice to replace Steve McClaren in 2007 out of ''respect''.
Mourinho, speaking in L'Equipe this week, had claimed he was within "hours" taking the England job before changing his mind. "I almost signed up," he said. "But at the last moment I pulled back, preferring to wait for the right job to come along, a good club, a challenge that could motivate me. That was Internazionale."
Asked about Mourinho's remarks ahead of the friendly clash with Ghana, Capello initially claimed it did not matter to him who the FA had on their list.
"I don't know," he said. "This is a question for the chairman that chose me, not for me. It does not matter. Absolutely not. Every time a club or a national team decides to choose a manager, they decide to speak with a lot of managers. It's normal. This is not different."
But then he delivered a sideswipe to Mourinho in claiming he would never talk about another job.
"I don't like to speak about my relationship with other clubs or teams out of respect for other managers,'' he added. ''I don't like to speak about this. I've said enough."
Capello also claimed that criticism he has not picked up the English language after three-and-a-half years is unfounded, as he only needs 100 words to get his point across.
''When I speak with the players they understand everything and that is what is important in this job,'' he said.
''If I need to speak about the economy or other things, I can't, but when you speak about tactics, you don't use a lot of words. I don't have to speak about a lot of different things. Maximum 100 words.''