Mourinho: I nearly took England job
"Clubs were interested and I was close to taking the leap to get back to football immediately," the Portuguese, who won consecutive Premier League titles with Chelsea, told French sports daily L'Equipe.
"I was hours away from signing with the England team. But at the last moment, I started thinking: I am going to coach a national team, there will be one game a month, the rest of the time I will be at my desk or overseeing matches and I will have to wait until the summer to play a Euro or a World Cup?
"No, it was not for me. So, at the last moment, I pulled back, preferring to wait for the right job, the right club, the challenge that could motivate me. It was Inter," added Mourinho.
In response to Mourinho's comments, an FA spokesman said: "Fabio was always our first choice for England manager. We have made that clear from the outset."
Mourinho won the Champions League with Inter Milan last year before taking over at Real Madrid in the close season.
Real are second in the La Liga standings behind Barcelona and will play Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League quarter-finals.