I'm currently working in a small team where my client can be seen as my line-manager, although he is not. My client and me are working for department X of the group Z. I'm contracting.
Another team, XY, that is belonging to the same group Z, and that we are working with , who can be seen as our supplier , has taken a hard stance on my client, mostly the manager of that team. He is saying out and loud that my client has done irresponsible things, that he took the product on a path that he should not have taken, creating a product that is unreliable.
Each meeting we are having, he shares valuable info with me but the issue is he cannot help himself but bad-mouth, gossiping.
I don't care about the grudge he is having, his doubt about the product and about my client.
I like when he shares the info but I don't care much about his ranting but in the same time knowing this type of manager as I've already seen this type before e.g gossiping, sneaky , self-important, I cannot stop his ranting as I still need him and he is the kind of guy who will definitely hold grudges against me if I tell him to stop his ranting.
I want to stop it because it bothers me and I feel there are things more personal at stakes that is going on, like rejections (don't ask what kind of rejections as I don't know and most of all, I don't want to know). It is not the first time I'm seeing this and I can spot a pattern when there is one, at least in human behavior.
And the meeting takes longer. One meeting, which take 30 mn can go up to 1h30 , not to mention the emotional drain it is taking on me.
What would be a good indirect way to stop his ranting, without being blunt and therefore vexing him?