Juan Mata says his family were concerned about his prospects of regular football when Jose Mourinho became Manchester United manager in 2016.
The Spanish playmaker moved to Old Trafford from Chelsea in January 2014, when David Moyes was the man in the dugout.
The former Everton boss was soon succeeded by Louis van Gaal, who was replaced by Mourinho ahead of the 2016/17 campaign.
Mata had previously worked with Mourinho at Chelsea, with the Portuguese restricting his first-team minutes upon returning for a second spell in charge at Stamford Bridge.
Indeed, it was Mourinho who sanctioned his sale to United in the first place.
“Louis was gone and rumours about Jose Mourinho being appointed as Manchester United’s new manager acquired a life of their own," he wrote in his autobiography, Suddenly A Footballer.
"A few days later, the rumours had become fact. Mourinho was my manager again. And, despite the concern of my family, friends and many people, I was determined to face the situation as I’d always tried to: positively.
"As expected, so many stories came out again in the press. I had no possible future at the club. I had already agreed to leave.
"Far too many people believed the information was true, again, and reached the conclusion that I had no future under him.
“Jose and I were together at Chelsea before, of course, and after having being together for sixth months, my career would take a different direction: Manchester.
"Yes, I didn't enjoy as much playing time as I would have loved to or was used to during those six months, but I never had a personal problem with Jose. Naturally, people assumed that the story would repeat itself. I was determined it wouldn't.”
Mata started in United’s 2-0 defeat by West Ham at the London Stadium on Sunday.
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