Lille president Gerard Lopez has distanced the club from rumours they will hire Jose Mourinho in the near future, insisting the coach must instead be scouting the French side’s players for his next club.
The Portuguese manager has been seen at Lille’s stadium several times since he was sacked by Manchester United in December, sparking reports his next job will be in Ligue 1.
The 56-year-old said in Frebruary that he can imagine taking over a club in the French top-flight and has suggested he will return to management next season.
Mourinho has also been linked with a move to Lyon, as coach Bruno Genesio confirmed he will leave this summer.
But Lille director Luis Campos downplayed talk of Mourinho heading there next term, saying the former Chelsea, Inter and Real Madrid boss is looking for a bigger club than Lyon.
Lille president Lopez was asked once again if the two-time Champions League winning coach could be on his way to Stade Pierre-Mauroy to replace Christophe Galtier this summer, but he maintains Mourinho is only scouting his next purchases.
“Just look at the list of clubs that send scouts to all our games,” he said. “It’s the cream of European football. We are the most scouted club in France.
“Jose Mourinho is a friend of Luis Campos but it is a pride that he is there and that he speaks well of Christophe’s team. But since he is not going to stay long without a club, he also looks at players in particular.”
Meanwhile, sporting director Campos has been linked with a move away from the French side, with the likes of Chelsea, Real Madrid, AC Milan and Roma said to have tried to lure him away, according to French media.
Lopez, though, expects him to remain with the club for another few years.
“Luis has received absolutely huge offers I have seen the offers and I know what he can be for other clubs,” he added.
“For me, he is the best recruiter in the world. But he’ll be there next season and he’ll be there for a long time. He is also my friend and he totally believes in this project. He proved it by refusing this type of offers.”