The 35-year-old England midfielder established himself as a world-class midfielder under Mourinho before the Portuguese moved to Inter in 2008.
Mourinho attempted to sign Lampard but the Blues vice-captain rejected his former manager’s advances – and has since become Chelsea’s all-time record goal-scorer.
“It was close, very, very close. When he eventually turned me down I told him he had made the right decision. He is Chelsea. This is where he belongs,” Mourinho told the Sunday Star.
Mourinho hasn’t enjoyed an easy start to his second spell in charge of the west London side after initially making the club’s worst start to the Premier League campaign in over a decade.
However, the Blues have bounced back in recent weeks, and Mourinho believes the presence of Lampard, Petr Cech and John Terry has eased the pressure on the Chelsea boss.
“They have made my life easier,” added Mourinho.
“It was a help for me, the way they communicated with other people, the way they know me and the way they helped others understand my ideas.
“They are good guys, they are professional and the relationship they have with me is prefect for the time of their career because they trust me.”
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