Jose Mourinho has moved to deny talk he is on the verge of leaving Real Madrid, insisting there is "no way" he is about to quit as manager.
Article continues below ...
Reports surfaced in Spain today that the Portuguese was poised to exit the Bernabeau following another tumultuous week during which he was involved in another fracas with Barcelona.
The 48-year-old appeared to put his finger in the eye of Barca’s assistant coach Tito Vilanova during last week’s Supercopa defeat, with the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) confirming Tuesday they would be looking into the incident.
The flashpoint was the latest in a string of unsavoury incidents to have occurred involving Mourinho and the Catalans since he joined Madrid last summer.
The growing tensions have seen him become increasingly outspoken about Barcelona and their practices, with talk of his departure coming on the back of the latest blow-up.
He says the speculation is not true, though, and in an open letter to supporters on the club’s official website, the dual-Champions League winner wrote: "Only those who don’t know me can dream, make up or believe I may leave Real Madrid at this stage…
"I believe many people were surprised by the quality football showcased by Real Madrid during the pre-season and it would be surprising news to them if I left the club now. Impossible!
"I have a fantastic President who is very intelligent and with whom I have a great friendship. I also have a Director General who works for the club 24 hours a day, so my motivation is enormous and my Madridismo is even greater than that of some pseudo-Madridistas…
"There is no way I’m leaving. No way!
"I also wish to apologise to Madridistas, and only to them, for my attitude in our last game. Some people are better adapted to the hypocrisy in football than I am, and they hide their faces and speak in whispers deep inside tunnels. I’m not learning to be a hypocrite, and I don’t want to."
Mourinho’s comments came just a matter of hours after the RFEF confirmed their investigation into him.
The former Chelsea boss grabbed the ear of Vilanova and then appeared to make contact with his eye during the closing stages of Barcelona’s 3-2 win at the Nou Camp, with the situation arising after Marcelo was sent off for a cynical foul on Cesc Fabregas.
Barcelona said Monday that they would not be reporting Mourinho, but the RFEF have intervened.
In a statement on their website they announced suspensions for Marcelo, David Villa (who was also sent off) and Mesut Ozil, as well as confirming they would be looking at the behaviour of Mourinho and Vilanova.
The statement read: "We will examine the images of the behaviour of Jose Mourinho and Franciso Vilanova, by performing behaviour that could be in violation of Article 98 and/or Article 100 of the code of disciplinary of the RFEF."
According to reports, Mourinho could face up to a 12-game suspension as a result of his actions.