LONDON (AFP) - Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has said failing to sign Steven Gerrard remains one of his greatest regrets as he urged Blues fans to stop mocking the Liverpool captain in song.
The two Premier League clubs will clash again when they meet at Anfield on Tuesday in the first leg of a League Cup semi-final, with Gerrard having already announced he will leave Merseyside at the end of this season to join US Major League Soccer side LA Galaxy.
During his first spell as Chelsea manager, Mourinho was on the verge of bringing midfielder Gerrard to Stamford Bridge in 2005 but the former England captain ultimately decided to stay with his hometown club.
His decision arguably cost him a chance to win the Premier League title, something he has not yet managed in his illustrious career.
"He (Gerrard) is a historical player for Liverpool, a historical player for the Premier League and an opponent I have always admired and respected," Mourinho said.
"We did everything to try (to sign him) and it was almost there. I was dreaming of (Claude) Makelele, Gerrard and (Frank) Lampard in midfield.
"We were playing in a proper triangle without a number 10 and playing Maka in front of the defenders.
"Me, Mr (Roman) Abramovich (Chelsea's owner) and Peter Kenyon (the Blues' then chief executive) at that time, we dreamed of that.
"His people were open to him joining a top side like Chelsea.
"But to me, personally, he never said he would come. Never.
"He (Gerrard) was always a Red and I think the decision was right."
Mourinho, asked if failing to bring Gerrard to Chelsea was his biggest transfer regret, said: "Yes but I have another one when I was trying (to bring) Lampard to Inter."