Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has admitted he regrets jettisoning Bastian Schweinsteiger from the first-team squad and demoting him to train away from the main group when he took over the club last summer.
The former Germany international has now joined Major League Soccer side Chicago Fire and Mourinho revealed he could not stand in his way while explaining how he felt about his treatment of the midfielder, per United's official website:
Bastian is in the category of players that I feel sorry for something that I did to him. [...]
Yes, yes, I do [regret his treatment last summer]. I would let him be in the squad. I knew, at that moment, we had too many players. If you remember, at that time, we had many players in this doubtful situation and we still had Morgan Schneiderlin and Memphis Depay and we had Andreas Pereira and Tyler Blackett and James Wilson.
We had a huge squad in the beginning. But, after knowing him as a professional, and as a person, the way he was behaving and the way he was respecting my decisions as a manager, yes, I regret it and it is no problem for me to admit it and he knows that because I told him.
The Portuguese manager was speaking ahead of United's Premier League clash with West Bromwich Albion at Old Trafford on Saturday, the first of nine matches United have to play during April.
He also addressed the injury problems United now face following the international break, with England defensive duo Phil Jones and Chris Smalling set to be out for some time, while Paul Pogba is also sidelined, per Metro's Chris Winterburn:
Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Ander Herrera are still serving suspensions, and both Marcos Rojo and Antonio Valencia face fitness tests following their recent international travails in South America, per ESPN FC's Ben Dinnery:
Per the Manchester Evening News's Rob Dawson, Samuel Luckhurst and Alex Porter, though, it was confirmed that Wayne Rooney is fit again, and the captain could well get a run out against West Brom given United's squad issues.
Tony Pulis' Baggies side go into Saturday's clash on the back of a 3-1 victory over Arsenal before the international break.
They are a very accomplished side and will be confident of getting a result at Old Trafford, especially given the likes of Bournemouth, Hull City, West Ham United, Burnley and Stoke City have all claimed points away at the Red Devils this season.