McLeish was boss between 2001 and 2006, winning the domestic treble in 2003, among other honours.
He was invited by the Gers board to discuss the position vacated by Mark Warburton in February, with the club eventually opting for Pedro Caixinha.
Asked how close he was to becoming the Light Blues boss for a second time, he said: "I did speak to them and I said that if they were to come back and offer me it, I would like to speak further.
"It was a very casual chat. It wasn't what I would call an interview, it was meeting old friends again and seeing where they were going with the club.
Alex McLeish was approached over the Rangers job
Alex McLeish had a successful spell in charge of Rangers
"They say don't go back and that was in my mind but they asked to speak to me and it was worth listening to what they had to say.
"But I believe Pedro Caixinha was probably uppermost in their minds even at that time.
"I was never 100 per cent, 'yes, I am going back to Rangers'.
"I wouldn't have just walked straight back in without some further talks.
"It was totally different to when I first went. It just wasn't for me at this time of my career.
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"I felt that, there is a lot that goes with it as well, in terms of the other side of the actual football and training.
"There is a lot of politics and I don't know if I needed that at this stage of my life."