Jose Mourinho has revealed that a high-profile move for Romelu Lukaku and the presence of academy graduate Marcus Rashford ruled out the prospect of any Manchester United comeback for Javier Hernandez.
The affable 'Chicharito', Mexico's all-time leading goalscorer, officially returned to English football following a two-year absence on Monday (24 July), leaving Bundesliga outfit Bayer Leverkusen for West Ham United in a deal worth £16m ($20.8m).
Along with Paris Saint-Germain's Angel Di Maria and Arsenal forward Danny Welbeck, Hernandez is one of three attacking players sold during Louis van Gaal's tenure that Mourinho has previously stated he would "never" have let go had he been in charge.
He also said back in March that the 29-year-old poacher would have easily scored 20 goals last season under his management even in the event that he was restricted to a familiar substitute's role, with United often dominating matches and creating numerous chances but suffering from a lack of killer instinct.
Such unprompted praise led to speculation that he could seek to re-sign Hernandez, although it appears that a summer deal was never an option.
"No [Hernandez was never a target], because he left the club a few years ago," Mourinho told reporters at a press conference held in Washington DC before United's final International Champions Cup clash with Barcelona at FedEx Field on Wednesday night. "I am not sure if it was his decision or the manager's decision [Van Gaal].
"But he is a good player who will always score goals, and I would always welcome him in my squad because he is a player who doesn't need many minutes on the pitch to score a goal.
"We moved in another direction with a younger player in Romelu Lukaku and we have Marcus Rashford, who can also be a striker, so we didn't feel that need. But, no doubt, for West Ham to get a player with his experience and quality is very, very good."
Bailly ban "very ,very harsh"
As well as providing another transfer update, Mourinho also railed against the additional two-match Uefa ban handed to Eric Bailly following his red card in May's Europa League semi-final second-leg draw with Celta Vigo at Old Trafford.
The Ivorian centre-back already sat out the 2-0 final win over Ajax and will now also miss the Uefa Super Cup clash with Real Madrid in Skopje in addition to United's Champions League group stage opener following a decision that Mourinho labelled as "very, very harsh".
In terms of team news, the manager confirmed that Spanish duo Juan Mata (ankle) and Ander Herrera (ribs) would both miss the match against Barcelona. However, they are expected to "recover in time to work next Saturday".
"The two injuries we've had were only small," added Mourinho, already without long-term absentees Marcos Rojo, Luke Shaw and Ashley Young.