Danny Murphy has insisted that Jose Mourinho was desperate to become Liverpool manager in 2004 before the club opted for Rafa Benitez.
Given his rivalry with Liverpool over the years with Chelsea, and now Manchester United, it would certainly have been an intriguing situation had the Portuguese tactician landed the Anfield job first.
Instead, he has undoubtedly become a far from popular figure with the Merseyside faithful on the whole, but it could all have been so different.
Asked on talkSPORT about United’s current situation and possibly wanting to play under Mourinho, Murphy revealed the story about how Mourinho was desperate to become Liverpool boss in 2004 and so he narrowly missed out on the chance to do so.
“Well, strangely, I nearly did! When Benitez was appointed at Liverpool, it was between him and Mourinho. I know that for a fact. Mourinho wanted the Liverpool job massively.
“But Liverpool basically went with Benitez, because he’d just won the Spanish league title and UEFA Cup with Valencia and they thought that was more solid an appointment than someone who had only done it, and that time, in Portugal.
“I know Mourinho was massively disappointed. I’m gutted too, because Benitez came in and didn’t want me. I’m just gutted it wasn’t Mourinho because he might have wanted me to stay!”
Benitez went on to enjoy six years at Anfield, winning the FA Cup and Champions League during his tenure and established himself as a firm favourite with the supporters.
Meanwhile, Mourinho continued to collect trophies around Europe and arguably proved that he was the better man for the job, but given his approach and personality, question marks could be raised over whether or not he would have been the right fit for the club.
Instead, he’ll now continue to plot the success of a direct rival, with United now hoping to beat the likes of Liverpool, Manchester City, Arsenal and others to the Premier League title this season.