JOSE MOURINHO has turned down a record £88million to manage Chinese side Guangzhou Evergrande, according to reports.
The former Manchester United boss has been out of action since being axed from the Old Trafford dugout last December.
A photo from earlier this week showed Mourinho meeting Hui Ka Yan – the most influential figure in Chinese football – to discuss an incredible return to management.
Hui is the richest man in China – worth around £26.6billion – and chairman of Evergrande Group, who finance Super League side Guangzhou Evergrande.
But Mourinho does not fancy the job, with the Guardian saying the 56-year-old turned it down for family reasons.
The Portuguese earned around £15m a year at United but his China offer would have dwarfed that completely.
It is understood Mourinho did not want to cause upheaval to his family by moving to China.
He had reportedly been in talks over a club job and the possibility of taking over the China national team.
Hui, a successful real estate developer, is said to have a strong ambition to inspire the Far East superpower to reach the World Cup and perform with honour.
It is believed the pair had positive discussions, with the opportunity to manage Evergrande and the national team both on the table.
However, other reports in China claimed Guangzhou Evergrande had denied Mourinho was ever going to take charge.
A source close to the Evergrande Group chairman Xu Jiayin told Xinhua on Friday that Xu did meet Mourinho but never talked about offering a coaching job at Evergrande.
The source said: “They did meet in last December and this May. But those meetings were personal and there was nothing about the coaching job at the Guangzhou Evergrande club.”
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Xu met Mourinho during his two trips in Europe for acquiring a Swedish Auto company Koenigsegg and a British automotive technology company Protean last December.
Speaking about the photo posted online, the source added: “The photo was not taken recently as you can see Xu’s hair style was very different from nowadays.
“Xu and Mourinho know each other for quite a long time and they have a good relationship.”