Jose Mourinho rues failure to sign Steven Gerrard

Jose Mourinho and Steven Gerrard
Mourinho was keen to sign Gerrard during his first spell at the club

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho says failing to sign Liverpool's Steven Gerrard remains one of his greatest transfer disappointments.

Mourinho was close to signing the midfielder in his first spell as Chelsea manager in 2005 before Gerrard chose to stay at Anfield.

"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.

Steven Gerrard's record v Chelsea in all competitions (Opta stats)
Appearances36
Starts35
Minutes3,139
Won11
Drawn9
Lost16
Goals1

"He [Gerrard] was always a red and I think the decision was right."

Gerrard will come up against Mourinho at Anfield on Tuesday in the first leg of the Capital One Cup semi-final in one of the last meetings before the former England captain ends his 17-year career in the Liverpool first team this summer when he joins Los Angeles Galaxy.

But Mourinho, who describes Gerrard as an opponent he has always admired and respected, says he does not like Chelsea fans to poke fun at the player following his slip at Anfield last year in a match which saw Liverpool's title chances disappear.

"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 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."

Top Stories