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Ryan Giggs left Manchester United because he wanted the manager's job, Jose Mourinho has claimed.
Giggs' 29-year association with United came to an end at the weekend when he announced his departure, believing the time had come for him to move on from Old Trafford.
As a player, Giggs made a club-record 963 appearances for United, winning two Champions Leagues, 13 Premier League titles and the FA Cup four times, before moving into coaching.
He was appointed as David Moyes' assistant manager in May 2013 and continued the role under Moyes' successor Louis van Gaal but he rejected the offer of a reduced coaching role under Mourinho.
"I never run away from my responsibilities. The reality is it is not my responsibility Ryan is not in the club. The job Ryan wanted is the job the club decided to give me," Mourinho told reporters on Tuesday.
"It's not my fault. Ryan wanted to be manger and the club, for reasons they can tell you, they decided the job was for me. He made a decision where you need to be brave.
"If one day he wants to be back to the club while I am here I would never stop him from coming back.
United have been busy in the transfer market with Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Eric Bailly both signing for the club, while Borussia Dortmund have announced midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan will move to Old Trafford.
Mourinho has identified a number of possible targets and is hoping to have his transfer business concluded before the start of the season.
"I don't know about changes. The third player will be official soon," the new manager said.
"I am very clear in my approach and model to play and I need specialists in that. I like one or two multi-functional because you need them when you are in a bit of trouble.
"I want specialists. We decided four targets. Until we have the fourth, we are still working hard. Myself, the structure, Mr Woodward, the owners - we are working hard on that. When we have the fourth, I breathe, we all breathe. We will not get the fourth on 31st August. We will get it before that and then we are stable."