Wayne Rooney's Machester United exit has left Jose Mourinho feeling emotional; the manager has spoken of his sadness at letting the former England captain leave the club.
The United manager opened up about Rooney's departure in a press conference on Wednesday, the day before the Red Devils are due to face Spanish giants Barcelona to conclude their USA pre-season tour.
Rooney rejoined Everton earlier in the summer after 13 years at the Manchester club, in which he helped United to five Premier League titles, one Champions League win and a host of successful domestic cup conquests.
"I miss him a lot," said Mourinho. "I miss the guy a lot because I think he’s a fantastic guy. He deserves what he got, and what he got was our desire for him to stay and our respect by making it completely clear that we would like him to stay.
"I’m not the kind of guy that normally gets emotional in my job, but I did it with him when he left."
Rooney's limited game time at United was a key factor in his return to the boyhood club he left when he was 18 years-old, and Mourinho said: "At his age, I think with his genetics and with his body he needs to be working at high intensity every day, every match, so I think he deserves that respect from us.
“If you want to go, we had to make it easy for him to go.”
Mourinho was keen to ensure that the former United captain was getting the playing time he wanted, stating: "He deserves that. It’s not difficult and at the same time it was about showing him the respect that allows him to be happy."