Ralf Rangnick has claimed he was approached by Chelsea before they appointed Thomas Tuchel as their new manager.
Tuchel was installed as Frank Lampard’s successor last month and has enjoyed a fine start to life in west London.
Chelsea (opens in new tab) have taken 10 points from a possible 12 in Tuchel’s first four Premier League games in charge.
The Blues also advanced to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup with victory over Barnsley last week.
But according to Rangnick, Chelsea’s initial plan was to appoint an interim manager until the summer.
That suggests Tuchel might not have initially been the board’s first choice to replace Lampard.
"I said: 'I would like to come and work with you, but I can't do it for four months. I'm not an interim coach,” the former RB Leipzig manager told The Times (opens in new tab).
“To the media and players you would be the ‘four-month manager’, a lame duck, from day one.
“If you watch Chelsea now you see a mutual plan for when they have the ball or the other team have the ball. Thomas is tactically on a very sophisticated level.
“Zsolt Low [Tuchel’s assistant] was my player and assistant coach at Leipzig and plays a vital role in his staff and you can see from the way he interacts with players Thomas also has great leadership skills.
“Appointing him was a top solution. I can only congratulate Thomas and Chelsea for the choice.”
Rangnick was then asked if he would be open to a Premier League job in the future.
“It would have to be something special,” he said. “It depends on the club and whether you want to work with a German coach."
Rangnick was interviewed by the FA in their search for a new England manager in 2016, following Roy Hodgson’s departure at the end of the European Championship.
And the German has suggested he was close to becoming the country’s third foreign manager.
"The England job was between me and Allardyce. They decided on Sam. We know how that went," he added.
Chelsea will be looking to extend their four-match winning run in all competitions when they face Newcastle (opens in new tab) on Monday.
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