Beijing (AFP) - China's veteran head coach Marcello Lippi will not renew his contract with the national football team after it expires in January, state media reported.
In an interview at a football awards ceremony in Monaco, Lippi said that he wants to return home to his family after working abroad for six years, CGTN said Tuesday.
During the Italian coach's tenure, the Chinese team's performance has remained lacklustre. In 2018, China failed to qualify for the World Cup in Russia.
"I feel I have worked well and we have improved, even though the margin of improvement hasn't been that high, because it was pretty low when we started," he admitted.
The Asian Cup, a regional football tournament, will be held in the United Arab Emirates in January. Lippi's contract with China's national football team is scheduled to expire at the end of the month.
It is unclear whether China's national team has found a replacement for the head coach. A spokesman from the Chinese Football Association said they had no updates to share.
Lippi led Juventus to five Series 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. with whom he won 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 a year.