Jose Mourinho offered ex-Chelsea star job despite their ‘tough times’ after injury

Wayne Bridge and Jose Mourinho had an up and down relationship at Chelsea (Image: JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)

Former Chelsea star Wayne Bridge has revealed an intriguing offer from Jose Mourinho following his premature retirement. Bridge, now 43, was forced to end his playing days earlier than expected because of a knee injury but found support from the Portuguese manager, who is renowned for his tough-love approach with players.

Despite this, Mourinho showed a different side to Bridge, offering him a job at Chelsea in an undefined role. The ex-England left-back opened up about his bond with Mourinho during an exclusive chat with Betfred.

“Yes, we got on well, to be honest,” said Bridge. “There were hard times, but after I retired he was good to me because I went into Chelsea for treatment after my injuries and he offered me a job.”

Reflecting on his time under Mourinho’s management, Bridge said: “During my playing days, there were times when things weren’t going too well, but I turned a corner with him and he put an arm around me and he’d tell me how well I was doing. Then I went and broke my leg.

“There were good times with him, but there were also times that I found tough, and I don’t know if that was him looking for a reaction from me. But generally, as a manager, he was great, and as a person. He’s always been really good to me throughout my career and after.”

Bridge, who won 36 caps for his country, chalked up three years under Mourinho in his initial stretch at Stamford Bridge. Mourinho left Chelsea for the first time in 2007, a couple of years before Bridge departed for Manchester City.

Jose Mourinho is back in management with Fenerbahçe (Image: Emmanuele Ciancaglini/Ciancaphoto Studio/Getty Images)

Bridge spent four years at the Etihad, a spell which featured a number of loans before he left permanently for Reading, only for injury to force him into retirement at the age of just 33.

Since hanging up his boots, Bridge has appeared on reality TV programmes such as I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! and SAS: Who Dares Wins. He is now a father to two children he shares with his wife Frankie, the former Saturdays singer, and indulges in poker during his leisure time.

On the other hand, Mourinho’s reputation has taken a slight hit following his latest tenures with Tottenham and Roma. He is now back in management with Fenerbahce and Bridge reckons he will do a good job in Turkey.

“It’s hard, isn’t it? As a manager, if you always want to be involved, then sometimes you can go into a new job with a new group of players and it can be difficult to work your magic,” added Bridge.

“The players could struggle to put into action the things that you’re asking them to do. You can’t say that going to Turkey is a bad thing because he loves the game of football and he may go there and do a good job.”