Mourinho "gutted" to have missed out on Liverpool job

Benitez and Mourinho have never seen eye-to-eye
Benitez and Mourinho have never seen eye-to-eye

Former Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy has claimed Jose Mourinho came close to being appointed as Liverpool manager in the summer of 2004.

Speaking on talkSPORT radio in the UK, Murphy suggested Mourinho was in a straight battle with Rafael Benitez to land the Liverpool job when his time was coming to an end with FC Porto.

In the end, Benitez beat him to the punch to claim the Liverpool throne, but Murphy suggests the football scripts could have had a different ending if Mourinho had ended up at Anfield.

“When Benitez was appointed at Liverpool, it was between him and Mourinho," claimed Murphy.

“I know that for a fact. Mourinho wanted the Liverpool job massively.

“But Liverpool basically went with Benitez, because he’d just won the Spanish league title and UEFA Cup with Valencia and they thought that was more solid an appointment than someone who had only done it, and that time, in Portugal.

“I know Mourinho was massively disappointed.

“I’m gutted too, because Benitez came in and didn’t want me. I’m just gutted it wasn’t Mourinho because he might have wanted me to stay!”

Benitez went on to win the Champions League in his first season with Liverpool, while Mourinho won the Premier League title and he also beat Bentiez's Liverpool in the League Cup final. 

His distain for Benitez has always been evident and maybe he still holds some animosity towards the Spanish tactician after he lost out in the battle for the Liverpool job 12 years ago.