Glenn Hoddle claims he came close to returning as Tottenham manager following Andre-Villas Boas' sacking.
The former Saints boss was at the White Hart Lane helm between 2001 and 2003, but that stint was far less successful than his distinguished playing career with the club.
Despite that and the fact he has been without a job in club management since being sacked by Wolves in 2006, Hoddle has made little secret of his desire to manage Spurs, who host Saints on Sunday, once more.
The 56-year-old claims that nearly happened in December when Villas-Boas departed, only for Tim Sherwood to eventually be named successor.
''I nearly went there this time round until the end of the season,'' Hoddle said. ''I said I was prepared to do that.
''I wouldn't have been prepared to do it for any other club apart from Tottenham because it's in my DNA.
''Although I've had great times at other clubs, there's just something in there about Tottenham and myself that goes back to when I was eight years old.
''So if that was the case, and it nearly became the case, I would have been happy to go back, but they made their decision and they've moved on.''
While understandably frustrated not to get the job, Hoddle cannot have failed to be impressed by the manner in which Sherwood began life at White Hart Lane. Things have gone awry of late, though, and the under-fire boss only narrowly avoided overseeing a fourth straight defeat in Thursday's Europa League last-16 tie at Benfica. The 2-2 draw in Lisbon may not have been enough to see them through the quarter-finals, but helped restore some pride towards the end of a campaign in which Spurs' £100million-plus summer outlay has disappointed.
''There hasn't been enough continuity and consistency there on and off the pitch,'' Hoddle said on the season to date. ''The signings that were made at the start of the season for nearly £100million haven't really produced. I've got to say that. ''Maybe they might produce next year once they've settled in and had another year in the Premier League but I think things need to settle. ''If you're going to do anything you need a steady boat rather than a boat that keeps being rocked. ''The amount of money that's been spent there, I'd imagine that the fans and the club itself, you know, directors, would be looking and wanting a bit more consistency but they've got to show consistency off the pitch to get it on it.''