Former Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has rejected the chance to return to work with Benfica, according to reports.
Mourinho began his career with the Portuguese outfit in 2000, spending just nine games in charge before resigning as the club would not offer him a contract extension, and they were hoping to tempt him back into the world of management less than a month after he was sacked by United.
The 55-year-old was dismissed from his position at Old Trafford on December 18, but he has turned down Benfica’s offer of an immediate return to the game.
According to The Times, Mourinho does not wish to work in his homeland, and instead will wait for a position with one of the ‘continent’s leading clubs’.
Mourinho has no shortage of admirers, and returns to either Internazionale of Milan or Real Madrid have been mooted.
The Portuguese guided Inter to a remarkable Treble in 2009/10 – they became the first Italian team to secure the honour – before joining Los Blancos and winning LaLiga and a Copa del Rey.
Florentino Perez, the Madrid president, wanted to bring Mourinho back to the Bernabeu earlier this year when Real sacked Julen Lopetegui, but he was still contracted to Manchester United and the club ended up hiring Santiago Solari instead.
Perez remains keen on Mourinho, and could approach him with the former Chelsea boss seen as the perfect man to oversee a huge overhaul of Real’s playing squad.
Inter are also seen as a potential destination with current manager Luciano Spalletti under pressure, while Paris Saint-Germain have been long-term admirers of Mourinho’s; Thomas Tuchel is currently secure in his position as PSG boss, however.