New Book Reveals José Mourinho Agreed to Manage Liverpool Before Joining Chelsea

Josh Sim

A new book about José Mourinho has detailed how the Portuguese manager agreed to manage Liverpool in 2004, before Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich made a bigger offer to convince him to go to Stamford Bridge instead.

Having already won four trophies while in charge of Porto and on the verge of winning a second consecutive league title for the club, the then 41-year-old was in high demand, with many of Europe's elite teams taking an interest in him.

One of those interested teams were the Reds, who had finished fifth during the 2002/03 Premier League season. And throughout the following campaign, the Gerard Houllier-managed side were again struggling to ensure a top four finish, leading club executives to begin a search for a potential replacement.

And now 16 years on, in the recently released title 'Mourinho: Behind the Special One, from the origin to the glory', French journalist Nicolas Vilas details just how close the Merseyside club came to appointing Mourinho at the time.

In the book, Jorge Baidek - a close adviser of the then-Porto manager - recounts a meeting that took place in April 2004, just before the Portuguese champions were scheduled to play Lyon in a crucial ​Champions League quarter-final.

Baidek said (​via ESPN): "Mourinho should have gone to Liverpool. Rick Parry [then chief executive] was in charge of transfers and we had an agreement. They asked us to wait for 15 days as Houllier was still the Reds' manager."

It seemed as though the former Barcelona assistant coach was set to arrive at Anfield for the following season. However, there was a further twist, when agent Jorge Mendes contacted him to communicate a 'much better' offer from the ​Blues.

With the proposal offering a lot more than the ​Reds' offer, Mourinho met Abramovich twice in May before finalising a move to Stamford Bridge not long afterwards, going on to win Chelsea's first top flight division title for 50 years in his debut season.