Jose Mourinho insisted he will be back in management this summer, but it won’t be with the Syrian national team despite an ambitious approach for his services from the war-ravaged country.
The 53-year-old Portuguese, out of work since being axed by Chelsea in December, has been widely linked to Manchester United where Louis van Gaal has spent most of the season under almost constant siege.
Mourinho, speaking to media on the sidelines of Saturday’s world heavyweight boxing title clash between Anthony Joshua and Charles Martin in London, confirmed that Syria had sounded him out.
“They (The Syrian FA) published (the offer) on their website the letter they sent to my agent,” he said.
“That one I have to say is true, but I have to say in a very special way we said we were not interested in the job.”
Syria recently sacked coach Fajr Ibrahim and have to play home games in Oman.
Mourinho refused to speculate on whether or not he would succeed Van Gaal at Old Trafford having formed a close bond with the Dutchman when they worked together in the 1990s at Barcelona.
“Van Gaal is my friend, I worked with him for a few years. I am always linked with jobs and in the summer I will have a job, but in this moment I can promise you I do not have a contract with any club,” he said.
“I have made this exception to speak with you (the media) because I didn’t speak for a long time, but I am going back to the same position. The only thing I can say is I don’t have a contract with any club but in the summer I will be back.”
Mourinho said that he would prefer to work in England where his family is settled.
“I am not in position to turn down (jobs). I am in a position to analyse, this is April, everything starts in July, every decision is made between May and the start of June,” he said.
“I am not in a position to deny, I am open to any club, national team, but I have to be honest, if possible, a club.
“I would prefer (to stay England). I love the country, the football here, my family is very stable and happy.”
The former Real Madrid, Porto and Inter Milan boss also said he would like to see Claudio Ranieri, the man he originally replaced at Chelsea in his first spell, lift the Premier League title with Leicester.
“I think his (Ranieri’s) career deserves that. He is a good man who I respect. In spite of bad words, he knows I like him very much and I would like him to win.
“But I like (Tottenham manager) Mauricio (Pochettino), I have a great relationship with him and his work at Tottenham is very good.
“Let’s go for the simple one the one with more points deserves to win.”