Louis van Gaal has hit out at Jose Mourinho over his treatment of Bastian Schweinsteiger during their time together at Manchester United.
The midfielder was brought to Old Trafford from Bayern Munich by Van Gaal in 2015, but after Mourinho replaced the Dutchman a year later Schweinsteiger was frozen out and made to train with the reserves.
He returned to the first-team squad to make three substitute appearances before leaving for Chicago Fire.
Mourinho later said he had made a mistake in his handling of the German.
“Schweinsteiger was older, of course, but not too old,” Van Gaal told Sport Bild. “Still, his body was not able to keep up with the high demands of Premier League.
“Bayern sold him to us as fit player, but, in reality, physically he had reached the end.
“How Mourinho treated him after me, Schweini did not deserve this. But it also explains how things were with Schweinsteiger.
“It’s a shame because he is a player like Luis Enrique, Mark van Bommel or Philipp Lahm, a character always present on the pitch.”
Van Gaal was sacked after two years at Old Trafford. He won the FA Cup in his final match in charge but could not produce a finish higher than fourth in the Premier League.
It might have been different had he managed to sign two other players from the Bundesliga — Mats Hummels and Thomas Muller.
He said: “I wanted to sign Hummels for Manchester United. But because at that time he was coming out of a poorer season, we didn’t do it in the end.
“I can confirm that I wanted Muller. But there was nothing we could do. FC Bayern made it clear that they would not sell him.”
Despite being sacked by Bayern, Van Gaal said he still had an affection for the club, which he said was different to Manchester United.
“Of course I do,” he said when asked if he still loved Bayern. “Manchester United who I last coached is a commercial club. Totally different to Bayern. The bosses, former players like Karl Heinz Rummenigge and Uli Hoeness are former players who know what they are talking about.
“Football is the most important thing, not money like it is now at United. That’s why I love Bayern.”
ESPN FC’s Mark Lovell contributed to this report.
Rob is ESPN FC’s Manchester United correspondent. Follow him on Twitter @RobDawsonESPN.