Glen Johnson recalled a brutal encounter he had with his former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho.
After coming through the youth ranks at West Ham United, Chelsea signed Johnson in 2003 in an €8.30m deal as part of new owner Roman Abramovich’s massive spending spree.
Hernan Crespo, Damien Duff, Juan Sebastian Veron, Claude Makelele, Adrian Mutu, Scott Parker and Wayne Bridge were all signed as well. Overall, a total of €169.20m was spent that summer.
And Johnson featured prominently under Chelsea boss Claudio Ranieri in his debut campaign with 31 appearances to his name.
Despite the millions invested, however, the Blues finished a distant second to unbeaten champions Arsenal in the 2003/04 Premier League season.
Therefore, Abramovich ditched Ranieri and recruited a relatively unknown Mourinho – who had just led FC Porto to an unexpected Champions League title.
The Portuguese coach wasted no time in making changes and spent a further €166.40m on new signings. Among them was Porto full-back Paulo Ferreira, who took Johnson’s spot in the line-up.
In the end, the former England international would go on to make just 39 appearances under Mourinho in two seasons. He was eventually loaned out to Portsmouth, who signed him permanently in 2007.
Initially, however, Johnson was set for a move to French giants Lyon before Mourinho “changed his mind”.
“[Mourinho] said to me ‘you can go on loan but to a Champions League team, so you can get experience for when you come back’. I said no problem, so that’s why Lyon came up,” Johnson told Stadium Astro.
“But he changed his mind. In front of me, he ripped the contract up.
“I said ‘you asked me to find a Champions League team, I found one and you’ve changed your mind’.
“So I was back to square one and that didn’t happen.”
The former full-back added: “He said ‘we want you to go to a Premier League team’, so we went back to the phone.
“Portsmouth came up. It wasn’t a dream move – I just wanted to go and play.
“So I said to my agent ‘I don’t give a f***’.
“‘All I need is a year and I’m done’.”
Johnson eventually joined Liverpool and made 200 appearances at Anfield before finishing off his career at Stoke City last season.