Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho has admitted it is unlikely he will be able to take temporary charge of Portugal – but stopped short of ruling himself out entirely.
The Portuguese Football Federation (FPF) have targeted Mourinho as the man they want to lead the national team qualifiers against Denmark and Iceland in October, while they go about appointing a full-time successor to Carlos Queiroz, who was sacked last week.
Mourinho has admitted it is unlikely he will take temporary charge.
“If it were not for Real Madrid I would do it for free,” he said. “But if you ask me right now if I can go, I think not. I have a contract with Real Madrid. I do not say no, but in the natural way of things, I do not think this is the time.
“Real Madrid have every right in the world to put an obstacle in the way. And if you put the slightest obstacle there, I can’t go. To say no to Portugal is impossible because of my personal pride and my passion for Portugal, but at the moment I cannot say yes.”
Goalkeeper Iker Casillas believes Mourinho has enough to be getting on with at the Bernabeu and will not be interested in taking on the role.
He said: “I think it would give him too much. I am sure he would like to coach Portugal but his head only thinks of Madrid. I don’t think he will go. I have talked to him and his mind is set on Madrid.”
Reports in Portugal claimed FPF president Gilberto Madail had travelled to Madrid to meet with Mourinho’s agent, Jorge Mendes, in an attempt to broker a deal.