Jose Mourinho would be `honoured' to be asked to succeed Steve McClaren as England coach.
Although the statement from Mourinho's trusted advisor Eladio Parames has in no way committed the former Chelsea boss to the vacancy, it is the clearest hint yet a lucrative offer from Football Association chief executive Brian Barwick would be accepted.
Mourinho is thought to top the FA's wish list, even though it could cost them around £6million-a-year to get their man.
Barwick and FA director of football development Sir Trevor Brooking have yet to conclude their extensive consultation process with senior figures in the game and have made no approaches to anyone as yet.
However, it can surely only be a matter of time before Mourinho's agent Jorge Mendes is contacted, if not with an actual offer then for an indication about his future plans.
Mourinho has been coy on that subject over recent days but Parames accepts the England job would be a hard one to refuse.
'To be manager of England is not the same as being manager of another country,' Parames told Sky Sports News.
'To be manager of England is a big job, a very interesting job and every coach would be honoured to be invited.
'I can't say whether he is interested or not but he loves English football and he loves the crowds, so I am sure he would consider it.'
It has been suggested Mourinho is merely toying the FA along in his quest to land a bigger club job, with AC Milan, currently enduring a difficult time in Serie A, the one mentioned most often.
Yet Mourinho knows he would command the respect of every English fan, plus key players John Terry, Frank Lampard and Joe Cole, with whom he worked so closely at Stamford Bridge.
It is thought Mourinho has spoken to Terry since his exit from Chelsea and it is inconceivable the England issue has not been raised in some shape or form.
However, Parames insists there have been no discussions with anyone from the FA.
'We don't know what the FA want,' he said.
'If the FA are interested why don't they contact Jose or his agent?
'If Mr Barwick comes they will listen, just like they would listen if another club came in.'
Parames' comments will only crank up the pressure on Barwick, although Soho Square chiefs are in no mood to make a rushed appointment which they may later regret.
Instead, Barwick and Brooking are continuing their fact-finding discussions with senior footballing figures.
Although the process has been viewed in some quarters as simply a question of a handpicked group offering an opinion as to who should get the job, the real reason for the talks is to determine what other elements are required to provide whoever is the new coach the best chance possible of being a success.
Brooking spent Saturday afternoon at Staines with Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, who was watching his son Darren's side Peterborough advance into the FA Cup third round.
Ferguson is one of the men who have been identified as being able to provide priceless advice on the job, while another, former England boss Sir Bobby Robson, yesterday used his newspaper column to trumpet the claims of Mourinho.
Fabio Capello is another live candidate, having already declared his interest, while others such as Klinsmann, Guus Hiddink, Marcello Lippi and Luiz Felipe Scolari continue to be discussed, as does Martin O'Neill, even though the Aston Villa boss has twice attempted to rule himself out of the running.