"It is easy for me to talk about him, because he is like a son to me," smiled Mourinho yesterday.
"I remember every moment we spent together: from when I wanted him at Chelsea and he first arrived at Stamford Bridge, to the Cup Final at Wembley when he hugged me before his teammates, seeking me out like crazy in the locker room.
"But it is also difficult for me to talk about him, because he is a Chelsea player, he has a contract with them and can choose between many different teams when he wants to leave."
Drogba's increasingly public spat with Chelsea fuelled reports he was to quit, especially after he was found in a meeting with Inter directors.
"I haven't spoken to him in months," assured Mourinho. "The last time was when he injured himself against Cluj in the first few Champions League games. "Besides, we have a tricky situation here, as we have [Hernan] Crespo, [Julio] Cruz, Adriano and [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic.
"I understand that when there is talk of his unhappiness at the Blues, Inter's name will inevitably come out.
"That is down to the rapport that exists between us, but there is nothing else in it. I hope he rediscovers joy and happiness and that he can play at his level."