Thuram in Jose blast
By Simon Fudge. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
Barcelona defender Lilian Thuram has criticised Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho for his handling of William Gallas.
The former Parma and Juventus man was dismayed with Chelsea's accusations that former Blues defender Gallas threatened to score an own goal or get sent off, if selected against his will by Mourinho.
The accusations came after Gallas moved to London rivals Arsenal as part of the deal that brought left back Ashley Cole to Chelsea on transfer deadline day.
Thuram, 34, feels the Gallas affair and Mourinho's recent criticism of France's football authorities shows the Portuguese tactician does not think much of his fellow countrymen.
"I thought it (the Gallas accusation) must be a joke," Thuram told The People. "But Mourinho must have a problem with the French.
"It's not the way to treat players. You never expect something like this from Chelsea, who are trying to be one of the top clubs in the world.
"He doesn't seem to get on with us. He should learn how to deal with his problem, so he doesn't have a trauma.
"First, it was these illusions about Claude Makelele and slavery - I don't know where he got that from. And then the attack on Gallas.
"I've been in football a long time and I have never seen anything like it. Internal problems have always been solved internally, not in public.
"Gallas told us about his problems with Mourinho a long time ago and the way he treats players differently, but this is just completely out of the ordinary."
Thuram's comments are sure to increase the animosity ahead of Barcelona's UEFA Champions League group stage clashes with Chelsea this autumn.
Another Chelsea man to be in the firing line from a European-based player is owner Roman Abramovich, as Milan defender Kakha Kaladze claims Chelsea pulled out of a deal to sign him last year.
The Georgia captain was lined up for a switch to Stamford Bridge after speaking with Abramovich, but a move failed to materialise.
"After five years with Milan, I just wanted a new challenge in life," he said. "I wanted to join Chelsea very much and I had talks with Abramovich.
"I don't know what happened but I think they went back on their word. I was very disappointed.
"After the Chelsea deal fell through, I decided to stay put. I signed a new five-year contract with Milan and I've been playing regular football in central defence, which is my preferred position."