China’s veteran Italian head coach Marcello Lippi has confirmed that he will more than likely retire when his contract with the Asian side expires early next year.
The 70-year-old former Italy and Juventus coach expects to leave management after the Asian Cup in January.
“I want to go home,” he told Radio Anch’io Sport. “I have a contract that expires on January 31, at the end of the Asian Cup.
“We’ll see after that, but I think it’ll be my last experience. Am I likely to leave China in February? Yes.”
A former defender who played most of his career with Sampdoria, Lippi has spent 36 years in management.
He led Juventus to five Serie A titles and their last Champions League triumph in 1996, as well as guiding Italy to victory in the 2006 World Cup.
He took his first coaching position outside Italy six years ago with Guangzhou Evergrande who he guided to three Chinese Super League titles.
Lippi took over the China national side in 2016 and is reported to be the best-paid international coach in the world on wages of between $23 million and $27 million (19 million to 23 million euros) a year.
China failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.