Jose Mourinho has confirmed that Tottenham Hotspur tried to hire him as their manager after he was sacked by Chelsea in September 2007 - only for the move to be blocked by Roman Abramovich.
The Chelsea manager also said that when he does leave Stamford Bridge again he will, despite his love for the Blues, look for a job with another club in England rather than return overseas.
On the eve of the Capital One Cup final against Spurs today, Mourinho also revealed that he was prevented from working in the Premier League for two years as part of his pounds 18?million settlement when he left Chelsea eight years ago.
Asked directly, and for the first time, whether Spurs had tried to offer him the manager's job in 2007, Mourinho said: "Yes. I couldn't go. I couldn't train in England for two years."
Did Spurs try to pay Chelsea compensation to release him from his agreement? "Yes," Mourinho said. How much? "I don't know." But would he have taken the job if a deal had been reached? "No, because I love Chelsea supporters too much. I'm Chelsea."
It is easy to forget, however, how acrimonious Mourinho's split from Chelsea was - even if he has subsequently denied that was the case. When he left it is understood that Daniel Levy, the Spurs chairman, called five times and even offered to match Mourinho's then salary of pounds 5.2?million a year to take him to White Hart Lane.
Spurs' persistence is also believed to have led Chelsea to increase the compensation package paid to Mourinho and his staff to pounds 10?million from an original offer of pounds 8?million. It then meant that, as part of that settlement, Mourinho agreed not to join another Premier League club for two years.
At the time the claim that Spurs wanted Mourinho provoked an angry response from the club's then manager, Martin Jol, who said that he had phoned Levy to be told it was "rubbish". A month later, however, Jol was sacked.
Mourinho, despite his frustrations with referees and the football officialdom in this country, has no intention of leaving Chelsea this time around. There has even been speculation that he might be rewarded with a new contract this summer.
"I don't want to go away," he said. "I will stay in this chair until Mr Abramovich tells me, 'Jose, it's enough'. If one day he tells me 'Jose it's enough' I will go to my house in London and wait for another English club. I want to stay at Chelsea for the rest of my career."
So he would want to stay in England? "Yes." And join another English club? "When I left the first time I had lots of countries to go to and lots of clubs to go to," Mourinho said (he joined Inter Milan and then Real Madrid).
"In this moment when I leave I have another 19 clubs in the Premier League and 22 clubs in the Championship. So the options are not so much. But I repeat I am in Mr Abramovich's hands. Until he wants me to stay, I will stay - and that is what I want."