Jose Mourinho has revealed his disappointment at his failure to sign Steven Gerrard for Chelsea, ahead of tomorrow night’s League Cup semi final first leg at Anfield.
Gerrard twice came close to moving to Stamford Bridge, only to pull out of deals to sign for Mourinho at the eleventh hour in both 2004 and 2005.
Gerrard will end his 16-year Liverpool career when his contract expires at the end of the season, and will complete a move to LA Galaxy.
And as the 34-year-old prepares to say goodbye to English football, Mourinho has revealed his regret at never working with him.
“We did everything to try [to sign him] and it was almost there,” said Mourinho.
“I was dreaming of Claude Makelele, Gerrard and Frank Lampard in midfield.”
Mourinho added: “We were playing in a proper triangle without a number 10 and playing Maka in front of the defenders. Me, Mr Abramovich and [former Chelsea chief executive] Peter Kenyon at that time, we dreamed of that.
“His people were open to him joining a top side like Chelsea. But to me personally he never said he would come. Never.
“He [Gerrard] was always a red and I think the decision was right.”
Mourinho also said he did not want Chelsea fans to taunt the Liverpool skipper for the infamous slip he suffered in the league match at Anfield in May.
“The song that my fans have I don’t like at all,” Mourinho said.
“A couple of times it is good fun but to go and go and go, especially with a player like him who deserves respect, I don’t think you don’t need that.
“We have so many other songs, you don’t need that one.
“I love this quote when he was saying in his life he would never score a goal against Liverpool. I love these words.
“I understand why he was – almost, almost, almost – coming to Chelsea. But he didn’t and I respect that a lot.”