Gary Neville ’embarrassed’ by Jose Mourinho’s ‘illegal’ treatment of banished former Man Utd star

Lewis Oldham
Neville slams Man Utd
Gary Neville "stunned" by Manchester United.

Gary Neville has hit out at Manchester United and Jose Mourinho over how badly Bastian Schweinsteiger was treated at Old Trafford.

The Germany international left Bayern Munich to join Man Utd in 2015 for a fee in the region of £6.5m. He penned a three-year contract but he headed to MLS outfit Chicago Fire during his second season in the Premier League.

“The coach had said so. No warning, nothing…”

Schweinsteiger made 31 appearances across all competitions during his debut season at Man Utd but he barely featured for the Red Devils in his second year.

Ahead of the midfielder’s second season at Man Utd, Louis van Gaal was replaced by Jose Mourinho and the former Chelsea manager opted to push the veteran away from the first team.

During his appearance on The Overlap alongside Man Utd legend Neville, Schweinsteiger lifted the lid on why he was banished by Mourinho and was made to train with the academy.

“It was 2016 and I was with the German national team, we went far in the competition (the European Championship) reaching the semi-finals, so I stepped in a little later (at Manchester United) and the team were in the US for a pre-season tour,” Schweinsteiger said in an interview on Sky Bet’s The Overlap.

“When I arrived on the first day, I trained with Zlatan Ibrahimovic and thought it was great, a player who has the vision and is amazing to play with.

“The next day, on my birthday, when I walked into Carrington, John Murtough was there and said that I wasn’t allowed to walk into the dressing room, the coach had said so. No warning, nothing.

“I don’t know (why he told me). Someone could have told me there (on my first day of training) or explained it to me in a normal way, but okay, I went to the youth dressing room and trained with the under 16’s.”

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“He didn’t see me happy here at United…”

He added: “[Mouinho] explained to me that he didn’t see me happy here at United because when I had my injury, I did my rehab with German doctors, spending time in Germany.

“Of course, I came back to United and was in contact with doctors and watched the games – I had a conversation with Louis van Gaal when he was coach, and he said to come on the weekends to United and remain in contact with the doctors, they needed me fit and there was an FA Cup final which I almost played. That was our agreement and I kept to it.

“For me, I just wanted to get healthy and wanted to be able to play – I stuck to the agreement with Louis van Gaal but obviously the board thought a little differently about that.”

It has previously been revealed that Mourinho apologised to Schweinsteiger as the manager “regretted” his actions. 

Mourinho eventually allowed Schweinsteiger to return to action and he made four first-team appearances during the 2016/17 before he joined Chicago Fire in March 2017.

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In response to Schweinsteiger’s comments, Neville claimed Mourinho’s conduct was “illegal” and he was “embarrassed” at what he was being told.

Neville said: “I was the PFA Union Representative, and you’re not allowed to do that, you can’t dismiss someone like that, it’s constructive dismissal in some ways.

“It’s probably a few years too late, you should have come and seen me at the time. I’m stunned and embarrassed at what I’m hearing because I always think, players leave clubs and people fall out, but there is a way to do things and a way to behave and act.”