In an era where personal grudges seem to have a lasting effect in the world of football, these seven examples prove that all can be forgiven, as managers and players reunite after a – sometimes ugly – break-up.
So without further ado, here are seven players who went on to play under managers who had previously sold them…
7. Juan Mata and Jose Mourinho
One of Jose Mourinho’s most controversial decisions upon his return to Chelsea was to sell Spanish playmaker Juan Mata, who had won the Blues’ Player of the Year award for the two seasons prior to Mou’s arrival.
With Oscar being preferred to Mata in the starting XI, the former Valencia man was sold to Manchester United in January 2014 for a then-club record of £37m.
Just two and a half years later, the Portuguese boss again inherited a squad containing the diminutive 29-year-old.
6. Alvaro Arbeloa and Rafa Benitez
It was Rafa Benitez who brought Alvaro Arbeloa to Anfield as part of his Spanish revolution on Merseyside and the reliable full-back gave his compatriot two and a half seasons of service, before the Reds accepted a £5m bid from Real Madrid.
Arbeloa moved in and out of Los Blancos’ first team during his seven years back at the Spanish capital, but he was at least reunited with Rafa, when the latter served as Madrid boss for the first half of the 2015/16 season.
5. Andrea Pirlo and Massimiliano Allegri
Massimiliano Allegri was in the AC Milan hotseat when the club felt let Andrea Pirlo leave on a free transfer to Juventus, after the Italian playmaker featured just 17 times during his final season.
While I Rossoneri have probably never forgiven their former coach for letting Pirlo leave, the Old Lady not only gained one of the finest midfielders in world football but also brought in Allegri too, with the pair winning a domestic double together before Pirlo left for New York.
4. Wayne Rooney and David Moyes
David Moyes gave Wayne Rooney his professional debut at Everton and guided England and Manchester United’s all-time record goalscorer through his first two seasons in top flight football.
Inevitably, the boy wonder was sold to the Red Devils, spending 13 successful years at Old Trafford before returning to the Toffees this summer. His old boss Moyes joined him in the May 2013, but the Scot failed as Sir Alex Ferguson’s successor and was sacked less than a year later.
3. Xabi Alonso and Carlo Ancelotti
Alonso had already won a La Liga title, two Copa del Rey trophies and the Champions League when Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti agreed to sell the masterful midfielder to Bayern Munich in August 2014.
Just two years down the line, after he himself swapped the Bernabeu for the Allianz Arena, the Italian boss was again given the pleasure of having Alonso in his team during what was the Spaniard’s final season as a professional footballer.
2. Yaya Toure and Pep Guardiola
Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola actively sold Yaya Toure to Manchester City for £24m in 2010, despite the Ivorian’s enormous potential, with many citing personal disagreements between the two as the reason for his exit from Catalonia.
The box-to-box midfielder has now been at Eastlands for seven seasons, helping the Citizens to two Premier League titles in that time. Pep’s arrival at the Etihad Stadium looked problematic initially, but a reconciliation ended Toure’s exile from the first team.
1. Romelu Lukaku and Jose Mourinho
The most recent addition to this list, Jose Mourinho deemed Romelu Lukaku not good enough, despite the Belgian scoring goals for fun in two consecutive loan spells at West Brom and Everton respectively.
Mourinho rubber-stamped Lukaku’s £28m sale to the latter, but as irony would have it, the 24-year-old striker would leave Goodison Park for Mourinho’s Manchester United for a whopping £75m in what could be the most expensive serving of humble pie of all time.