Big-spending Guangzhou Evergrande denied Marcello Lippi has signed a multi-billion-dollar contract to manage the Chinese club, weeks after the former Italy coach dismissed such reports.
Numerous Chinese media outlets, citing Italian reports, have said Lippi was poised to take the helm on a huge contract.
"The reports about him are sheer rumour," Evergrande's owner Xu Jiayin told Xinhua news agency on Wednesday.
The China Daily said Thursday that Lippi had signed a $13 million contract and had already bought a home in the southern city.
Evergrande's president Liu Yongzhuo expressed confidence in current coach Lee Jang-Soo, a South Korean who led Evergrande to their first Super League championship last season, but did not totally rule out a move for Lippi.
There is "no Lippi move in the near future... rumours spread out as early as last July and until now they are just speculation without any evidence," Xinhua quoted Liu as saying.
Lippi, who has managed Juventus, Inter Milan and other top Italian clubs, was quoted earlier this month on goal.com saying: "There is no chance of that (Guangzhou) at all."
"There is no truth in this story whatsoever. Zero percent of it is true."