Jose Mourinho has revealed he told Bastian Schweinsteiger he was sorry for mistreating him at Manchester United.
German World Cup winner Schweinsteiger departed Old Trafford for MLS side Chicago Fire earlier this week after being frozen out by Mourinho earlier this season.
After initially being made to train with the youth team, he was eventually welcomed back to first-team training, eventually making appearances in cup competitions.
Schweinsteiger was given a hero’s welcome as he touched down at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago with wife Ana Ivanovic.
Mourinho, however, has admitted his regret at how he treated the 32-year-old.
“He is in the category of players I feel sorry for something I did to him,” Mourinho said.
“I don’t want to speak about him as a player, I don’t want to speak about him as a player I would or would not buy. I want to speak about him as a professional, as a human being.
“It was the last thing I told him before he left – ‘I was not right with you once. I have to be right to you now.’ So when he was asking me to let him leave, I had to say yes, you can leave because I did it once, I cannot do it twice.
“So I feel sorry for the first period with him, he knows that, I am happy that he knows, because I told him.
“I will miss a good guy, a good professional, a very good influence in training.
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Bastian Schweinsteiger talks about leaving Manchester United
“So I could not stop him to go, even though I know we have so many matches and probably would need him for a few matches or a few periods.
“But I had to let him go and now publicly wish him and his wife a very happy life in Chicago.”
Schweinsteiger could make his debut for Chicago Fire when they host Montreal Impact on Saturday night.