Jose Mourinho has insisted he has “no intention” of returning to management in Portugal.
The 55-year-old has been linked with Benfica, with club president Luis Filipe Vieira insisting “money is no object”, as he looks to replace Rui Vitoria.
Bruno Lage is currently in caretaker charge at the Stadium of Light, with the Eagles seven points behind league leaders Porto.
Speaking on Thursday to Portuguese TV, Mourinho politely explained that he has no intention of returning to work in his homeland at this moment.
“I have never confirmed, nor denied any offers throughout my career.
“I never got into this game of news feeding.
“I don’t really want to go there, but the best way to respect a great club [Benfica] and a great president is to say that I was not offered.
“If I were, Benfica would be the first to know my decision. But to help end all the speculation on this subject, I will say that at this moment, today, I have no intention of working in Portugal,” he told CMTV.
Mourinho added: “The best thing for Benfica is to support Bruno [Lage] and think about the future calmly. At the moment, I’m fine as I am.”
Mourinho left Manchester United last month, after a disappointing start to the season, culminating in his dismissal after a 3-1 loss to Liverpool.
United paid his full £15million compensation package last month, allowing him to return to management when he sees fit.
But Mourinho has refused to speak out on his exit from Old Trafford and, despite not being directly asked about his United departure, added: “I always learned that when you leave a club, you do not talk.
“When you leave a club, you do not wash dirty clothes, when you leave a club, you do not seek to, at least publicly, do any kind of criticism, it’s an ended chapter and that’s how I always did it.”