Jose Mourinho could have ended up at Paris Saint-Germain but Chelsea got the Portuguese tactician's signature ahead of the French giants.
Leonardo, who was PSG"s sporting director between July 2011 and August 2013 and was instrumental in bringing former boss Carlo Ancelotti to the club.
When Ancelotti left the Ligue 1 side at the end of the 2012-13 campaign, Leonardo had hoped to lure Mourinho but the Special One was already spoken for.
"Jose Mourinho was a very hot name," the Brazilian admitted in an interview with BelN Sport.
"But when Ancelotti confirmed his departure the Portuguese boss had already come to an agreement with Chelsea.
"Personally I wanted him but we had to look for other options."
Leonardo, who left PSG in August, was banned by the French Football Federation for 13-months for pushing a referee and that ban threatened to be applied worldwide, but it was overturned by a court in October.
The 44-year-old has been widely linked with Inter's sporting director role under new chief Erick Thohir, but as yet there is nothing concrete.
image: © tpower1978