Jose Mourinho: 'Tottenham tried to sign me on the day I left Chelsea'

Mourinho reveals Tottenham wasted no time in attempting to lure him across London after sacking

Click to follow
The Independent Football

Jose Mourinho has revealed ahead of the Capital One Cup final against Tottenham today that Spurs tried to recruit him as their manager on the day he left Chelsea for the first time.

Tottenham’s chairman, Daniel Levy, made the approach after Mourinho was sensationally sacked by Chelsea in 2007 but was prevented from taking it by a stipulation in his settlement.

“I couldn’t go,” Mourinho said in his press conference ahead of the Wembley encounter. “I couldn’t train in England for two years.”

In September 2007, Tottenham were being managed by Martin Jol, who claimed at the time the idea that Levy had approached Mourinho was “rubbish”. But a month later, Jol was sacked and replaced by Juande Ramos, who lasted barely a year before being replaced by Harry Redknapp. “I wouldn’t have taken it,” Mourinho said. “I love Chelsea supporters too much.”

Spurs’ intervention almost certainly led to a significant increase in Mourinho’s pay-off from Chelsea, which eventually reached a staggering £18m, and an amendment which meant he could not manage in England for two years, rather than the more customary 12 months. In the end, Mourinho waited until the summer and moved to Internazionale.

It was after the 2007 League Cup final that Mourinho held up five fingers at the club’s directors, indicating the five major honours he had won for the club – two Premier League titles, two League Cups and one FA Cup, which was regarded as a gesture of defiance to chairman Roman Abramovich after the pair’s relationship had deteriorated.


“I go into this final the same way I go into every final,” he said. “No difference at all. If I win tomorrow, maybe I do six fingers. I think I have done this a lot of times. I have some pictures the same in Madrid when we won the League title.”