Jose Mourinho has opened up on the highly controversial transfer saga involving Chelsea and Liverpool over the transfer of Steven Gerrard.

The Liverpool captain came close to moving to Stamford Bridge back in 2005 when he was on the cusp of becoming one of the greatest midfielders in the world. Gerrard was yet to enter into his peak back then, but he had just helped Liverpool win the European cup on a famous night in Istanbul. Chelsea reportedly made an offer of £ 30 million and the transfer was close to being completed before Gerrard pulled out of the deal.

Mourinho has accepted that the failure to get the former England international remains as the biggest regret that he has had in his managerial career.

The Portuguese has revealed that he planned to play Claude Makelele, Frank Lampard and Gerrard in the same midfield. Gerrard has since come up against Chelsea on numerous occasions, but he will be remembered for the infamous slip last season. This slip went on to cost Liverpool their first league title, as it led to the club suffering a 2-0 defeat against the blues at Anfield. Gerrard has been mocked by Chelsea fans since then, but Mourinho says that the 34-year-old deserves a lot of respect.

“He’s a historic player for Liverpool, a historic player for the Premier League. He’s an opponent I always admired and respected. There is a song that my fans have that I don’t like at all.A couple of times it’s good fun but to go and go and go, especially when a player like him deserves respect, we don’t need that. I was dreaming of Claude Makelele, Gerrard and Frank Lampard. We did everything to get him. It was almost there,” said Mourinho ahead of the League Cup semi-final with Liverpool.