- Associated Press - Saturday, April 9, 2016

LONDON (AP) - Jose Mourinho declined Syria’s offer to coach the war-torn nation’s team on Saturday while reiterating his desire to return to management in England next season.

The Portuguese, who has been linked with Manchester United since being fired by Chelsea for a second time in December, insisted he has no contract with a club.

“I don’t have a contract with any club but in the summer I will be back,” Mourinho told British broadcaster Sky Sports as he prepared to watch boxing in London.

Louis van Gaal remains in charge of United, which has not denied a constant stream of reports that it wants Mourinho to replace the Dutchman.

“(Van Gaal) is my friend, I worked with him for a few years,” Mourinho said. “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 … I would prefer (to stay in England). I love the country, the football here. My family is very stable and happy.”

On the Syria offer, the former Real Madrid and Inter Milan coach said: “In a very special way we said we were not interested in the job.”

Earlier, agent Jorge Mendes’ company, Gestifute, told The Associated Press: “While (Mourinho) felt honored to receive the invitation, he cannot at the moment accept it.”

Syria’s soccer team, which has never qualified for the World Cup, is to play in Asia’s third round of qualifying, scheduled to begin in August.

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