Spain international Juan Mata has revealed that he received calls from "concerned friends and family" following Jose Mourinho's appointment at Manchester United in May 2016.
The former Valencia man worked under the Portuguese tactician at Chelsea. Mourinho sanctioned the 29-year-old's sale to the Red Devils in January 2014 when he was in charge at Stamford Bridge.
After his move to Old Trafford, reports started to surface that a fractured relationship between Mata and Mourinho convinced the latter to sanction the Spaniard's sale. Following the former Real Madrid and Inter Milan manager's arrival at United, there was speculation the 54-year-old would allow Mata to leave United in 2016.
The player laughed away the rumours and stressed that he never had a "bad relationship" with Mourinho. However, Mata stressed that he was "hurt" by the rumours.
"I faced it naturally. It's true I received calls from concerned friends and family but I knew that I didn't have any personal problems with Mourinho at Chelsea. What hurt me is that they spread rumours and lies about what did not happen," Mata told the Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo.
Mata has been a regular inclusion in United's starting lineup across all competitions since Mourinho's arrival. The Red Devils even handed the ex-Chelsea star a contract extension that will see him stay at the club until 2019.
Mourinho's men are currently in Spain as they prepare to take on Sevilla in the first leg of the Champions League round of 16 tie on 21 February. The return leg will be played at Old Trafford in March.
Mata is aware that United are not the firm favourites, but remains hopeful that his side can emulate what his former club Chelsea did to win the competition in 2012.
"Real Madrid, Barcelona or Bayern Munich are favorites. The PSG? They have it complicated [after 3-1 defeat to Real in the first leg]," the former Chelsea man explained.
"We have to think about moving forward little by little. When I was at Chelsea everyone thought that the 2012 final was going to be a Barça-Madrid and ended up being a Chelsea-Bayern, with which football is unpredictable."