How reliable is that site? Can't help but wonder if someone just made that story up on the back of Eccleston's tongue-in-cheek remark about returning for the 100th anniversary if Ahearne directed. Then again, I also wonder if Eccleston's joke was prompted by the original request.
I had the exact same two thoughts. What's more, though, I can definitely see it going down like that the more I think about it.
I too am questioning the accuracy of the site and agree they seem to be taking Eccleston's praise of Ahearne a bit too seriously. I know Eccleston has long been known to view working with Ahearne to be one of the highlights of his time on Doctor Who, but I just imagine Eccleston walking into Moffat's office and saying "yeah I'll do it, if Ahearne directs it" and when Moffat said no Eccleston just turned and walked out. Kind of convenient that this also lead to the infamous falling out between Moffat and Caroline Skinner that led to her erasure.
Sure, it's a nice story, but no, I don't believe it.