Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has backed his decision to sell Angel Di Maria to Manchester United in the summer and revealed he still keeps in contact with Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho.
Cristiano Ronaldo and many others questioned Perez's transfer overhaul in the summer and even urged him to resign for allowing Di Maria and former Liverpool star Xabi Alonso to leave the club in the closing stages of the window. The pair played a crucial role for Real last season, helping them to win both the Champions League and the Copa del Rey.
Perez, who replaced Di Maria with £63m signing James Rodriguez, responded to the critics, claiming they sold the Argentina international to Old Trafford for around £59.7m due to the player's high salary demands and because the player forced the exit.
Asked about that during an interview with Spanish radio station Cadena Ser the president once again backed his summer decisions.
"We did what we had to do. I like to speak well of people. Di María left because he wanted to go," Perez insisted.
"Xabi spent ages pondering over his future, he's 33 years old and it's difficult to retire at Real Madrid. Better offers materialised for him. Raúl did something similar and we had no problem with that. Kroos came in as Khedira didn't want to renew and the same situation arose with James and Di Maria".
Time appears to have vindicated Perez's overhaul as Real Madrid have had an impressive start to the campaign, both in La Liga and the Champions League.
The Spanish giants are playing even better football than last season, while it looks the dressing room is stronger than ever thanks to manager Carlo Ancelotti.
The Italian boss has brought calm to the squad after the difficult spell under Mourinho, which ended on a sour note with a number of players.
However, Perez has revealed he maintains a healthy relationship with the current Chelsea boss.
When questioned about whether Mourinho failed to generate the current atmosphere created under Ancelotti, Perez said: "All coaches have their own particular style.
"He still sends me the odd message. The last one was when we won the Champions League in Lisbon. He has his own life now in London and we don't have the opportunity to see each other, though I still follow what he does.
"With him, as coach we made in-roads in terms of quality. Mourinho has coached at some big teams, he's not a novice. Every person has their own personality. I may like someone to varying degrees as a person, but have no doubts about his virtues as a football coach."