Jose Mourinho prevented Kevin de Bruyne from moving to Borussia Dortmund when Jurgen Klopp was in charge, according to the Manchester City midfielder.
De Bruyne is firmly established as one of the Premier League’s most talented players, though his earlier days at Chelsea only allowed him to show glimpses of his potential.
Much was written at the time about the player’s relationship with then-Chelsea boss Mourinho, who rarely gave Belgian star De Bruyne a look-in before the club moved him on to Wolfsburg.
That sale was proved a huge mistake by Chelsea as De Bruyne then went on to be named Bundesliga Player of the Year in 2015, before he sealed a club-record £55m switch to City that summer.
However, the player’s career could have taken a very different path had Mourinho not blocked the player from teaming up with Klopp at Borussia Dortmund.
“When I was at Chelsea, there was so much in the press about my relationship with Jose Mourinho,” De Bruyne told The Players’ Tribune.
“But the truth is that I only ever spoke to him twice. The plan was always for me to go on loan for a bit.
“So I went to Werder Bremen in 2012, and that season went great.”
De Bruyne continued: “When I came back to Chelsea the next summer, a few German clubs wanted to sign me.
“[Jurgen] Klopp wanted me to come to Borussia Dortmund, and they played the kind of football that I enjoy.
“So I thought maybe Chelsea would let me go.
“But then Mourinho texted me: ‘You are staying. I want you to be part of this team’.”
Despite assurances of playing time from Mourinho, De Bruyne played just three times in the Premier League before being sold to Wolfsburg.
And the playmaker admits Mourinho would have preferred him to stay.
He added: “I think Jose was a bit disappointed, but to be fair to him, I think he also understood that I absolutely needed to play.
“So the club ended up selling me, and there was no big problem at all. Chelsea got more than double the price they paid for me, and I got into a much better situation at Wolfsburg.”