With his first stint at Stamford Bridge having ended in September 2007, the Portuguese was seeking a new challenge when the Three Lions were hunting a replacement for Steve McClaren after failing to qualify for Euro 2008.
But the 51-year-old has no regrets over passing up the England post, which was eventually taken up by Fabio Capello.
Speaking in his role as a global football ambassador for Yahoo, Mourinho was quoted as saying: "How close was I to taking it? This close," hovering a pen over an imaginary dotted line.
"I was almost, almost, almost, almost England manager at that time. But it was the right decision. My wife was right.
"She told me not to take it. We are not speaking about the job today, we are talking about seven years ago," he added.
"I cannot wait two years for a big competition. I cannot be spending two years playing against Kazakhstan and San Marino. It's not for me.
"In the end, my wife was saying, 'No football, no matches is not for you'."
- Sports & Recreation
- Steve McClaren