Porto and South African great, Benni McCarthy, has revealed how Jose Mourinho twice tried to sign him to Chelsea.
The 2003/04 campaign saw Porto win the Champions League, and Mourinho left to join Chelsea – where he failed to sign McCarthy once again.
The striker said: “When I went back, Porto’s players laughed and called me Mourinho’s son. I let my football do the talking and did everything I could for this man.
“I even thought, ‘This guy is going to leave Porto and I want to go with him’. I had a manager I would die for.
“I scored goals against Manchester United in the Champions League and when Mourinho went to Chelsea they came for me, but Porto would not sell.”
Blackburn managed to snare McCarthy away from Porto in 2006, and the ex-South Africa international managed to score 18 goals in 36 Premier League games.
Once again Chelsea – and Mourinho – came calling, but the 1995 top-flight champions were unwilling to part ways with their prized asset.
McCarthy revealed to the Athletic: “I was playing in England for the first time and scoring a lot — 24 goals in my first season.
“Then Chelsea came knocking on the door again. Mourinho wanted me. He’s always wanted me.
“I asked Blackburn if they could sell me. I wanted to play Champions League again, to play for Mourinho as he ruffled more feathers in the Premier League.
“Blackburn said no, which I understand.
“I tried to force the move but it wasn’t enough. My mental state began to suffer, my football began to suffer.”