Milan (AFP) – Italy’s Marcello Lippi could return to Chinese top flight side Guangzhou Evergrande on a three-year, 60 million euro ($67.6m) deal which would make him the world’s highest-paid coach, reports said Thursday.
Former Italy and Juventus coach Lippi steered the Chinese giants to three consecutive Super League titles between 2012 and 2014.
According to Corriere dello Sport, he will sign a three-year contract with Guangzhou worth 20 million euros net per season — a salary that, if confirmed, would put Pep Guardiola’s world-beating 17.7m euro (£15m) annual salary at Manchester City in the shade.
Having become the first coach in history to win both the UEFA Champions League, with Juventus in 1996, and AFC Champions League, with Guangzhou in 2013, the dapper 68-year-old remains one of the world’s most sought-after coaches.
Lippi admitted recently he almost returned to AC Milan last January to replace Sinisa Mihajlovic at the club’s request, only for the club to backpedal when the Rossoneri’s results started to improve. Mihajlovic has since been replaced by ex-Fiorentina handler Vincenzo Montella.
Earlier this week, Lippi — who quit Guangzhou because he wanted to “be closer to Italy” — said he is considering a return to China.
“Yes, it’s true — I am considering returning,” he said. “I enjoyed my time in China… it was an exciting challenge.”