Manuel Pellegrini has revealed he rejected the chance to take the Manchester City and Liverpool managers' jobs earlier in his career.
City's hierarchy this summer identified Pellegrini as the boss they believed was best equipped to help deliver on a stated ambition of winning five trophies in the next five seasons.
Yet he might already have been in place had former owner Thaksin Shinawatra lured him from Villarreal in 2007 before turning to Sven-Goran Eriksson.
And that was not 59-year-old Pellegrini's only flirtation with a job in England, with Liverpool also apparently interested three years ago.
In 2010, after Rafael Benitez left Anfield, Pellegrini was available following his dismissal by Real Madrid but Malaga proved his next destination.
The Chilean said: "I had twice chances to arrive here before. One was to Manchester City but with the other owners, not these owners.
"Liverpool, I was very near, after Real Madrid, to arrive at Liverpool. But for different things, it was not the moment. Now it is the right moment with the right club."
More than trophies
Pellegrini left Malaga to succeed Roberto Mancini at Etihad Stadium after the Italian was sacked in May just a year after guiding the club to their first league title in 54 turbulent years.
The Italian had also won the FA Cup the previous year and still managed to finish runner-up in both competitions last season - only for that not to be deemed good enough by the City hierarchy.
He said: "I am not concerned about that. I am here, it is not only to win trophies - the Premier League, the FA Cup or the Champions League. I am here to work with young players and the professional team.
"Winning trophies is important but it is not just about that."
City have spent close to £45million this summer on two new players in Fernandinho and Jesus Navas and the spending is set to continue with several other players linked.
Yet Pellegrini is well aware the club need to curtail their spending and sustain their strength through their own youth system in the future.
He said: "As a coach, of course we always want immediate success. We are trying to have a strong squad in all positions. If that will bring us trophies, perfect - we have more chances to win that way.
"But in the same way we are working with young players and we will continue
to. It is impossible every year to buy three, four, five players.
"We need a mix with young players. We need to work exactly the same with the under-21s and the first team.
"A lot of things I think will be improved. From what Roberto and all the other coaches of Manchester City have done over the years, we will continue."