Jose Mourinho has revealed he told Frank Lampard to stay at Chelsea at the end of last season before returning to the club for a second spell in charge.
The 35-year-old England international had been linked with a move to MLS throughout last season as questions over whether he would be offered a new contract at Stamford Bridge were raised.
However, Lampard signed a new one-year deal following the club's Europa League success and Mourinho has claimed he played a big role in persuading the Blues' all-time top goalscorer to stay.
"At that time [last season] I was not in contact with the club," the Portuguese told Sky Sports News. "I was only in contact with him as a friend because we kept contact all over these years.
"I was telling him: 'The way I know you - don't go to American soccer. You are a player who needs to compete every week at the highest level, you are a player that needs to be in real competition.
"'If you go to the States, it's a fantastic country, football is coming up and you would be very important there. But if you go there you will not enjoy your life, and you have years to enjoy your life as a player.'
"So my opinion was not to go but try and stay at Chelsea - if Chelsea doesn't want you then try and stay in the Premier League because you belong to high level competition. He was telling me in the Premier League he doesn't want to play in any other club."
Chelsea are currently touring the Far East and face Singha All-Stars, who beat Manchester United 1-0 on Sunday, in their first pre-season outing on Wednesday.