Luiz Felipe Scolari could have taken over at Chelsea last September, it has been revealed.

The Brazilian could have been in charge at Stamford Bridge as early as last September if former manager Jose Mourinho had not rejected the opportunity to manage Portugal, according to a forthcoming book on Scolari.

Scolari was facing the sack for lashing out at Serbia player Ivica Dragutinovic after a Euro 2008 qualifier. The Portuguese Football Federation were under pressure to sack him, but only decided not to because their preferred candidate to replace him, Jose Mourinho, said he did not want the Portugal job at this stage of his career. The revelation comes in a new book called 'Luiz Felipe O Homen Por Tras de Scolari' (Luiz Felipe The Man Behind Scolari) written by journalist Jose Carlos Freitas, who was previously press officer for the Portuguese national team.

He remains a close friend of Scolari's and the book has the approval of Scolari himself.

Freitas wrote: "If the Federation had sacked Scolari because of the incident with Dragutinovic, they would have had the support of the vast majority of the critics and it would have been well received by Scolari's enemies.

"I would have accepted it if they had taken that option and I told Luiz Felipe that when I also told him off about it. That they didn't sack him was because Jose Mourinho didn't show himself to be available for the job.

"They knew it was a horrendous risk and that some players would have refused to play."