Arsene Wenger has reportedly rejected a big-money offer to return to football with Serbia.
The Balkan side missed out on Euro 2020 qualification after a penalty shootout defeat to Scotland.
That is leading to the Serbian FA (FSS) scouting candidates to replace coach Ljubisa Tumbakovic.
FSS president Slavisa Kokeza is said to want a big-name foreign manager to come in and point the young side in the right direction.
According to Belgrade outlet Informer, Kokeza approached an intermediary of Wenger’s to offer him the job.
However, the 72-year-old turned down the opportunity despite money being described by the FSS as ‘no problem’.
Arsenal icon Wenger has not managed since leaving Emirates Stadium in 2018.
A number of teams are thought to have come in for the Frenchman, who has maintained his desire to return to the dugout.
I still think I can be useful somewhere else, that I can be efficient somewhere else.
In October, he told the Mail: “Yes, I’ve still got the desire to manage.
“I still think I can be useful somewhere else, that I can be efficient somewhere else.
“If the phone rings now, I would be tempted to say yes. I’ve said no before. It has rung. I’ve had offers from big clubs in the Champions League.
“But I was at the end of a love story of 22 years. It meant some suffering, some thinking, so I felt I needed time to reflect on what I did, what was right, what was wrong.
“I was stamped too much with Arsenal. It was like a grieving process.”
Serbia hope to have a new manager appointed by the middle of the month and Reading boss Veljko Paunovic is another reportedly on their shortlist.
Having enjoyed an excellent start to life in Berkshire, the former Serbia Under-20s manager is not seen as a ‘realistic’ candidate.
The pressure is on for Kokeza to find a coach who can qualify the European side for the 2022 World Cup.
Manchester United favourite Nemanja Vidic has been quoted as calling Serbian football ‘rotten’ after the defeat to Scotland.
The ex-defender has even been backed to become the new national team boss by Nemanja Matic.
Vladan Milojevic, formerly of Red Star Belgrade and now of Al Ahly in Saudi Arabia, is reportedly the favourite for the role.