Frank Lampard has confirmed he nearly quit Chelsea in 2008 so he could join Jose Mourinho at Inter. “That was the one time when I was close.”
The England midfielder has been linked with a move to Italy several times, including to Lazio this summer, but now seems likely to stay on at Stamford Bridge, especially if The Special One returns.
“The closest was Inter Milan with Jose in 2008, the idea of challenging myself to do something different and going with him because he was such an influence on my career,” Lampard told The Telegraph newspaper.
“In the end I wanted to stay for personal reasons, because of my mum and the attachment I have to Chelsea.
“That was the one time when I was close. It’s turned out to be the right decision. I am fortunate to be here.
“Mourinho was the first one I saw to have a particular way, he knew whether a player needed a leg up or a telling off.
“First and foremost it is about man management and how you get on with players. If you are a top-level manager you have top players, but getting the best out of them is the trick and it’s 70 per cent of the job.
“He formed a spirit among the team that was formidable. We didn’t have a group mentality to win the league, but he brought that in.”
Mourinho won the Treble at Inter in 2010, lifting the Champions League, Coppa Italia and Serie A title.