Terry rejects claims of Mourinho rift

LONDON: Chelsea captain John Terry has rejected claims made by former teammate Claude Makelele that he was responsible for Jose Mourinho being fired in September 2007 after a rift with the manager.

Makelele's comments were made in an autobiography published in France on Saturday as Terry was preparing to captain Chelsea against Everton in the FA Cup final at Wembley. In "Claude Makelele -- Tout Simplement," the midfielder stated that Mourinho and Terry fell out over playing time as the captain dealt with injury, and that the England defender subsequently asked for a transfer.

"I thought Mourinho was practically untouchable, but a lot of players had complained about him, notably John Terry," Makelele wrote. "When John Terry let his discontent be known to (chief executive Peter) Kenyon and asked him for an immediate transfer, (owner Roman) Abramovich reacted immediately: the departure of Terry was totally unimaginable, from the point of view of the supporters, the players or the club owners. Mourinho was packing his bags."

However, both Chelsea and Terry strongly denied the claims from Makelele, who now plays for Paris Saint-Germain. "It has been claimed that John was in some way involved with the removal of Jose Mourinho as manager," said a statement from Terry's legal team.

"This is categorically untrue and there is no foundation in this allegation. We also confirm (should it even need confirming) that John has never asked to be transferred from Chelsea." Mourinho is now coach of Inter Milan.