Louis van Gaal has accused Manchester United of going behind his back to sack him as manager and appoint Jose Mourinho.
The 66-year-old, who replaced David Moyes in 2014, was dismissed last May just two days after guiding United to their first FA Cup triumph since 2004.
The former Netherlands head coach has slammed the club for the way in which they dispensed with his services before officially naming Mourinho as his successor four days later.
"The pressure was enormous, with my head in the noose, and they went right behind my back," he told Algemeen Dagblad. "I think it was all orchestrated like a film and it was done very much behind my back right from January.
"I do understand that choice of United to get Mourinho. Suddenly, Mourinho was out after one and a half years of my contract and I knew United wanted him one day."
Van Gaal admits losing his job at Old Trafford remains his "biggest disappointment" and claims he would have tried to arrange a more amicable departure if the club had spoken to him about their plans for Mourinho.
"They told me [about my sacking] only after it was leaked out and it was the biggest disappointment of my life," he said. "United did not discuss this with me.
"If they had come to me with the Mourinho plan then I could have said 'Okay, let's give it everything for the last six months, complete commitment to each other and the team and then Jose Mourinho can take over'.
"They could have saved the last year of my salary by doing that but after what happened I made them pay every penny."