In what appeared to be a less-than-subtle dig towards fellow Premier League title challengers Manchester City, who signed Chelsea legend Frank Lampard on loan after he had agreed a move to MLS side New York City last summer, Mourinho admitted he was “sorry” to see the former England captain leave English football.
"I'm not happy he leaves. I would love the Premier League to keep always the best players,” Mourinho told reporters after Tuesday night’s 1-1 draw against Liverpool in the Capital One Cup semi-final first leg at Anfield.
Mourinho sorry to see Gerrard leave
"I think he has more than enough quality to play in the Premier League. In spite [of the fact] he's my opponent, I feel sorry that he's leaving."
When asked if he would attempt to convince Gerrard to stay in the Premier League, Mourinho responded by saying: “Or to get him on loan.”
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The tone of his response, however, must be noted. Clearly a tongue-in-cheek comment, Mourinho laughed with the interviewer after making the light-hearted comment.
Mourinho a huge Gerrard fan
However, the fact Mourinho is a huge fan of Gerrard’s is no secret. The revered Portuguese coach came close to signing him in 2005 and recently admitted that missing out on the talismanic midfielder was amongst his biggest regrets since becoming a manager.
Mourinho also urged the Chelsea fans to stop making fun of Gerrard, whose infamous slip against the Blues towards the end of last season ended up costing Brendan Rodgers’ side dear, and applauded the midfielder as he was substituted on Tuesday night.
Liverpool dominate - but fail to win
Liverpool dominated the match against Mourinho’s side, but could not find a way past the brilliant Thibaut Courtois after Raheem Sterling has cancelled out Eden Hazard’s first-half penalty.
The 1-1 draw leaves the Reds with an uphill battle to progress to the Capital One Cup final, with Chelsea famously hard to beat at Stamford Bridge.
But Rodgers’ players will take heart from the impressive manner in which they took the game to Chelsea. This was a performance reminiscent of Liverpool at their spellbinding best last season.
Which team will advance to the final: Liverpool or Chelsea? Have your say in the comments below.