The Swansea boss has stated that representatives of the Stamford Bridge outfit touched base with him through intermediaries before Jose Mourinho’s appointment.
Michael Laudrup’s stock as a manager has risen considerably following an excellent debut season at Swansea, where the Dane led the Welsh club to ninth place in the Premier League and triumph in the Capital One Cup.
As such, there was speculation that the former Getafe boss was being eyed up by bigger clubs, one of which was Chelsea following Rafa Benitez’s summer departure.
Laudrup has confirmed that the Blues made an indirect approach to gauge his interest in becoming the new main man at Stamford Bridge, but he opted to stay loyal to Swansea.
"Someone tried to know my availability through intermediaries, but there was nothing concrete," the Scandinavian is quoted as saying to Portuguese newspaper A Bola.
"Also, I had given my word that I would be in Swansea."
In the end Jose Mourinho was appointed as the Blues’ boss for the second time, with Laudrup ending speculation by staying at the Liberty Stadium.
Following Brendan Rodgers’ decision to abandon the Liberty Stadium ship to take on a new challenge at Liverpool, Laudrup’s committed approach will come as a real bonus for the Welsh club and its fans. The Dane clearly feels that he can progress the club further and with him at the helm there are exciting times ahead for Swansea.
As far as Chelsea goes, Laudrup may well have made the right decision. Yes, he would have had superior players to work with, a bigger budget and Champions League football, but what he would not have had was room for error or the luxury of time. The Dane would have been expected to win trophies in his first season, and if his side had a bad run of form he would be under immediate pressure.
Similar to Andre Villas-Boas, Laudrup is a young, ambitious manager that wants to commit himself to a project and progress over time. Like the now-Tottenham boss found out in his ill-fated time in west London, Chelsea are not the club to offer this.
There is an argument that under Laudrup Chelsea would have played more enterprising and eye-catching football than with the results-driven Mourinho. With the Dane’s expansive thoughts on how the game should be played, and judging from his Swansea side, the attacking players at Stamford Bridge would have been given more freedom to express themselves under Laudrup.
However, in truth, the Chelsea job would have been too much, too soon for the promising manager. In the future Laudrup will crave a position at a top European club, but in the meantime the more-experienced Mourinho is a better option for the Blues.
image: © Jason Bagley