Jose Mourinho has insisted he is proud of his time as Manchester United manager but would not delve into the issues that played a part in his Old Trafford downfall.
The Red Devils sacked the Portuguese boss on Tuesday after two-and-a-half years at the club, having overseen their worst start to a Premier League season.
Mourinho lifted the Europa League, EFL Cup and Community Shield in his first year with the club before finishing runners-up in both the league and FA Cup, but things have unravelled since the start of his third campaign at the helm, culminating in a 3-1 defeat to rivals Liverpool at the weekend.
The United boss has made his frustrations about players and the club’s decisions clear over recent months, but kept his feelings on such matters to himself in a statement released the day after his sacking.
“I have been immensely proud to wear the badge of Manchester United since the first day I arrived, and I believe all United supporters recognise this,” Mourinho said.
“Just as was the case with my previous clubs, I have worked with some wonderful people and I believe that some will be my friends for life.
“I know that you are all aware of my professional principles. Each time a chapter is closed I show my deepest respect and I don’t make any comments about my former colleagues.
“I hope the media will also respect my position and let me live my normal life until the moment I decide to return to football. Merry Christmas.”
Mourinho also spoke briefly to Sky Sports News on Wednesday, having been doorstepped near his London home.
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Like in his statement, the Portuguese refused to speak in detail about what happened at United – “it’s game over,” he said – and focused on the future, with talk of a return to Real Madrid rumbling on.
“I keep the good things and I don’t speak about anything that happened in the club,” Mourinho said.
“We could speak about so many good things, we could speak about not as good (things), but that’s not me. It’s finished.
“Manchester United has a future without me and I have a future without Manchester United, so why should I now be sharing with you or even with the supporters any of my feelings.
“It’s over and that’s me and that’s the way I have always been.”
United have appointed an interim replacement, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, until the end of the season.
Solskjaer will take charge of his first match as caretaker manager on Saturday evening, against former club Cardiff City.
- talkSPORT will bring you full commentary of the clash LIVE from Wales, kick-off 5:30pm.
Mike Phelan, a United assistant under Sir Alex Ferguson, has returned to the club to work with Solskjaer, alongside current coaches Michael Carrick and Kieran McKenna.
Solskjaer, who will return to his position as Molde manager next summer, said: “Manchester United is in my heart and it’s brilliant to be coming back in this role. I’m really looking forward to working with the very talented squad we have, the staff and everyone at the club.”