Jose Mourinho will not be China’s new coach, its football association said on Friday, amid widespread reports that Italian World Cup winner Fabio Cannavaro is instead poised to take the job.
Mourinho has been out of work since being sacked by Manchester United in December and the 56-year-old has been linked with a number of coaching jobs, the latest being his former club Real Madrid.
One role he will not be taking is with China’s national team, who have been without a coach since Marcello Lippi left at the end of January.
Moving to quash any rumours, the Chinese Football Association (CFA) said on Weibo, China’s version of Twitter: “News that the CFA invited the famous coach Mourinho to serve as head coach of the national side is not true. For media and fans, please don’t believe this.”
The CFA made no mention of the 45-year-old Cannavaro, who has been strongly linked in Chinese media with the post.
The Italian, who captained his country to World Cup glory in 2006, will stay in charge of Chinese Super League (CSL) giants Guangzhou Evergrande and take charge of both teams at the same time, reports said.
Chinese media said that Lippi, Cannavaro’s mentor and Italy’s coach when they lifted the World Cup, will have an advisory role in the new set-up.