sport

No Real approach for Lippi

Italian World Cup-winning coach Marcello Lippi has played down media speculation linking him with Real Madrid and insists he is very happy at Chinese club Guangzhou Evergrande.

Lippi has been touted as a possible replacement for Jose Mourinho at the Bernabeu, with the Portuguese under increasing pressure following a poor start to the Primera Division season that has seen the reigning champions fall 16 points adrift of leaders Barcelona.

However, while Lippi admits he is flattered to be linked to the Spanish giants, he says there is nothing in the speculation.

"Going to Real Madrid on (Zinedine) Zidane's advice? It's not true. It's not that I'm unhappy to be linked with an important club like Real, but there's nothing in it," he told Italian station Radio Kiss Kiss.

"I don't know what Zidane and (Madrid president) Florentino Perez have said, I've read stuff about it in the papers, but I have two more years on my contract with Guangzhou and I'm very happy in every aspect there.

"Nothing has happened, if they called me I would tell them the same, that I'm still under contract."

Lippi, 64, took charge at Guangzhou on a two-and-a-half-year deal in the summer having previously coached the likes of Juventus, Inter Milan and Napoli.

Mourinho, meanwhile, brushed aside questions about his Madrid future following his arrival in Dubai today for a football seminar.

He was quoted as telling journalists: "Now is not the time to talk about my future."