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Rodgers – I Turned Down Leicester Job

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Rodgers was referring back to the summer of 2007 when he was still reserve team manager at Chelsea.

“I met Milan Mandaric when I was at Chelsea,” Rodgers admitted.

“I had a five-hour meeting with him in London which went well and then we met again.

“I think I came into the running quite late. Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, who I knew from Chelsea, was ready to sign for Leicester and I think he mentioned my name.

“I got a call out of the blue and they asked (then Chelsea chief executive) Peter Kenyon for permission to speak to me, which was granted.

“Things went quite well, but I think they were quite a way down the line by that stage and they ended up appointing Gary Megson

“I was only 34 at the time. It would have been a massive, massive risk to appoint someone of that age.

“Milan said at the time that he had wished he’d met me six months earlier, but they went for the experienced man in the end.

“I had targeted being a manager by the age of 38, but I knew after those meetings with Milan that I was ready,” he added.

“There was some disappointment that I didn’t get the Leicester job, but with hindsight maybe it was a good thing.

“I spoke with Jose about it at the time. We sat for about an hour one afternoon.

“He told me how when he was at Barcelona working under Louis van Gaal, he had the chance to go and be Graeme Souness’  No. 2 at Benfica but van Gaal said he could only leave to be a No. 1.

“I am not comparing my path with Jose’s or anything like that, but he said to me that I should go to be a No. 1 too.

“I know some managers in that situation who wouldn’t want their staff to go, or who would feel it was disloyal if they wanted to go.

“But it was the complete opposite with Jose. He knew I wanted to go and be a manager.”

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