Jose Mourinho was reportedly offered the opportunity to succeed Sir Alex Ferguson as Manchester United manager in 2013 – but turned it down to return to Chelsea.
According to the Daily Mail, United’s executive vice chairman, Ed Woodward, flew to Madrid in a bid to persuade Mourinho to replace the retiring Ferguson.
The Portuguese – an admirer of the Ferguson administration and the club – was allegedly attracted by the proposal but opted to return to Stamford Bridge after Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich intervened.
United subsequently turned to David Moyes days later, with many believing that the former Everton manager had been specifically cherry-picked to replace his fellow Scotsman Ferguson.
For many at Old Trafford, the former Porter and Inter Milan manager was a big enough name to follow in the footsteps of Ferguson but the club eventually settled for Moyes.
The ex-Everton manager went on to endure a torrid time at the club. Hamstrung by a lack of activity in the transfer window and accusations of stalling over deals that were in place, the Scot was sacked after less than a year in charge.
Louis van Gaal stepped in as Moyes’ successor but similarly struggled to deliver as United slumped to fourth and fifth-placed finishes, despite spending £250m on new signings. The Dutchman was sacked in May 2016.
Mourinho’s own dismissal at Stamford Bridge in December 2015 paved the way for the Portuguese to finally take on the challenge of the Manchester United job six months later.