Jose Mourinho has said he would prefer to wait until the end of the season before returning to management.
The former Chelsea head coach has been widely tipped to replace his friend Louis van Gaal as Manchester United manager.
The clubs’ executive vice-chairman, Ed Woodward, is reportedly keen to bring Mourinho in but also reluctant to sack the Dutchman until the summer.
Speaking to journalists in Singapore, Mourinho confirmed reports that he would rather not start a job in the middle of the season, but stopped short of mentioning the role at Old Trafford.
“If I have to return tomorrow, I return tomorrow,” he said. "I always feel that it is better to wait and not to rush. It is better to wait for the right moment and the right move.
"I think starting next season with a new club and project is probably the best for me," he added.
When asked specifically about an approach from United, the Portuguese coach said: "That's the one million dollar question."
Mourinho also told reporters that he had not agreed a deal with any club yet, despite the intense speculation linking him with Old Trafford.
"I read so many different things. One day they say yes and another day they say no. One other day they say I'm going to China, another day they say I'm going back to Italy.
"I go to Milan and people say I'm going back to Inter. I'm here and people probably say I'm going to Singapore national team.
"Every day new things are coming but the reality is I have no job and I am happy not to have a job."