Jose Mourinho has admitted that he got “emotional” when Wayne Rooney left Manchester United to return to Everton.
Rooney rejoined his boyhood club on a free transfer following thirteen years at Old Trafford where he scored 253 goals in 559 appearances.
In Mourinho’s first season, Rooney was limited to just 15 Premier League starts but Mourinho has insisted that the club would have been happy to see the 31-year-old remain.
“I miss him a lot,” the Portuguese boss revealed. “I think he’s a fantastic guy. I’m not the kind of guy that gets normally emotional in my job and I did it with him when he left.
“But I’m sure that he’s going to be very, very good for Everton and Everton is going to be very, very good for him.
“It was not difficult [to let him go] because he deserves that, it’s not difficult. He deserves what he got and what he got was our desire for him to stay and our respect by letting it be completely clear that we would like him to stay.
“And at the same time, the respect that allows him to be happy – allow him to try to play every game, every minute which honestly I think he needs.
“At his age, I think with his genetic, with his body, with his personality too, I don’t think he’s the kind of player to be less motivated, not so happy because he’s not playing every minute.
“I think 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 have to make it easy for you to go.”