Tottenham midfielder Jermaine Jenas has admitted that the 'Jose Mourinho factor' almost took him to Inter Milan.
The England international was a target for the Italian giants last summer, as they prepared to embark on an historic campaign which would lead them to an unprecedented Treble.
In the end their efforts to snatch Jenas away from White Hart Lane came to nothing, with the 27-year-old determined to force his way back into the Spurs side after slipping down the pecking order.
He believes that he made the right decision for his career, but admits that he was tempted to embrace the opportunity to work under one of the most charismatic and highly-rated coaches in world football.
"It was something that would turn a footballer's head because you want to play in Europe and Inter went on to win the Champions League last year," Jenas told the Evening Standard.
"The Jose Mourinho factor was there and a lot of players would love to play for him. At that particular time I am not going to say it did not interest me.
"I am very happy in the Premier League and I like being in London but Italy had not come into my mind until Mourinho started talking."
Jenas may have been tempted to walk away from Tottenham as niggling knocks had started to take their toll.
His desire to play could only take him so far and he admits that he did himself no favours by pushing his body to its limits in order to take to the field.
"I was using painkillers to mask the problems," he revealed. "When Harry Redknapp arrived in October 2008, we drew 4-4 with Arsenal in his second game and I had about six injections in my toe, three at the start and three more at half-time, just to get through the match and I was also struggling with my groin.
"I did that for about five or six months because we had a new manager and I was trying to impress. There were a couple of times where we played abroad and the gaffer said to me: 'Look, there is no point having these injections for this game, just leave it'. I was even having them before training to get through the session.
"Eventually your body tells you that you just cannot do this any more, there was a hole in my stomach and it had to get sorted so I flew off to Germany in March this year for an operation. Four days after the surgery I was running again. They advise that but it was painful and we had a lot of injuries at Spurs so I was desperate to get back in the team but in doing that I was picking up other things.
"I was not fully fit until the last five games of the season but did not really play any part in the run-in as we finished fourth."
Jenas has returned to the fold this season, though, and, with 21 caps to his name, is targeting an England recall in the not too distant future.
He said: "I feel that I am back in the groove and I am playing Champions League football so I would like to think that I am on (Fabio) Capello's mind.
"The next competitive game is not until next March but there are a couple of friendlies before then so it would be great to get back into the squad but playing well and consistently for Spurs comes first."