Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho claims he turned down the chance to sign England left-back Luke Shaw because his wages were financially irresponsible.
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Shaw became the most expensive full-back in history when Manchester United signed him from Southampton for an initial 27 million pounds earlier this month.
Yet Mourinho says he is concerned by his reported 100,000 pound-a-week wages, arguing that paying such a sum, for a player who only made his Premier League debut in November 2012, would have destroyed dressing-room harmony at Chelsea.
"If we pay to a 19-year-old boy what we were being asked for, to sign Luke Shaw, we are dead," he said. "We would have killed our stability with financial fair play and killed the stability in our dressing room.
"Because when you pay that much to a 19-year-old kid -- a good player, fantastic player -- but when you pay that amount of money, the next day, we would have had players knocking on our door.
"They would have been saying, 'How is it possible I play 200 games for this club, won this and that, yet a 19-year-old comes here and gets more money than I get?'"
Chelsea instead opted for Brazilian left-back Filipe Luis from Atletico Madrid, who Mourinho said was a more sensible option considering UEFA's financial fair play regulations.
"It would've killed immediately our balance and we couldn't allow that. I don't criticise another club for paying it. They can pay what they want. I don't have any comment about it.
"But for my club we can say it would be very negative for us, especially when we can say Felipe is much less expensive. Sometimes you have to make decisions."
Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal has refused to enter a public war of words with Mourinho, saying that he will discuss the matter in private.
"I don't have to answer, I don't think I have to discuss things with the media. It's better to discuss it with Jose," he told reporters after United's evening training session at Denver's Sports Authority Field.