Arsene Wenger has responded to Manchester City's naked pursuit of Samir Nasri by accusing his Premier League rivals of being "against the rules of football" and lacking "respect".
Wenger blasts Mancini as 'disrespectful' and 'out of order'
The Arsenal manager, facing a battle with his own board not to sell Nasri, was provoked by Roberto Mancini's declaration of intent on the French midfielder.
Nasri is likely to nearly double his wages should he follow former teammate Gael Clichy's suit and leave Arsenal for the Etihad Stadium.
Mancini, the City manager who has been pushing City's board to make top-level signings in the current transfer window, gave an interview yesterday in which he said: "I hope that we can buy [Nasri] because we need other players, and I hope that this player can arrive before the end of the month."
Informed of Mancini's comments following a 1-1 pre-season friendly draw with Hangzhou Greentown in China, Wenger said: "I think these comments are not allowed, they are against the rules of football and he [Mancini] should be informed.
"What we want is respect and we don't make these comments about players who are under contract at other clubs.
"Was he disrespectful? I cannot say otherwise. This comment is absolutely out of order, but I don't give it any more importance than that."
City also are working on the transfer of Sergio Aguero, a signing they are thought to be considering making regardless of whether they ultimately sell fellow Argentina international Carlos Tevez to Corinthians this week.
It will cost £39.5 million (Dh231.1m) to buy out Aguero's contract at Atletico Madrid, slightly more than Corinthians' improved bid for Tevez of £35.1m rising to £38.6m.
Tevez's transfer must go through by Wednesday, the final day of Brazil's transfer window, and Corinthians' bids were headed in the right direction towards City's asking price of £45m.
Arsenal, meanwhile, are poised to allow the midfielder Denilson to return to Sao Paulo on loan.