Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich came close to buying Tottenham Hotspur, but was advised against an offer for the Premier League rivals by former England manager Sven Goran Eriksson, reports The Sun.
In the latest revelation from his autobiography, the 65-year-old Swede reveals how the Russian billionaire sought direction on which London club in England's top tier would be the better long-term investment.
Had it not been for Eriksson's intervention, Abramovich might have been in control at White Hart Lane - not Stamford Bridge - and delivered both domestic and European glory to Spurs instead of the Blues.
However, with aspirations to win the Premier League title, Eriksson encouraged the purchase of Chelsea, because - he said - only half of the first-team would need changing, compared to the entire overhaul that would have been required at Tottenham.
“In 2003 Roman wanted to buy a club in Russia. I went with him to Moscow to see the facilities at two or three other clubs," Eriksson explained.
“But then he changed his mind and he said he wanted to buy a club in London. He was thinking Chelsea or Tottenham.
“He phoned me and said: ‘Who shall I buy?’
“I said if you want to win the league then Chelsea — because you only have to change half of the team.
“At that time with Tottenham maybe you would have had to change the whole team.”
Had Eriksson opted for Spurs over Chelsea, it's interesting to think how each club's respective futures might have played out.