Sao Paulo director Adalberto Baptista has revealed that former Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas has turned down the offer to take charge of the club.
The Morumbi outfit are currently on the lookout for a new coach following the dismissal of Emerson Leao after growing unhappy with the 62-year-old's work.
Baptista claims that Villas-Boas was attracted by the possibility of coaching Sao Paulo, but would only take the job if he could begin his tenure in January in order to fine-tune the squad.
"He said today that he would not accept our offer," Baptista told Globoesporte. "He wanted some time to plan things, and I do not have time to wait.
"It is hard to sign a foreign coach. By the time he gets things going, the ship has sunk already.
"In Brazil, you have to win the next match. Now, we are going to war, I am looking for a new coach.
"It was time for Leao to leave. Until we find a new coach, Milton Cruz will be a temporary solution."
Villas-Boas, 34, took charge of Chelsea last summer after guiding Porto to an impressive four-trophy haul, including the Europa League, in 2010-11.
However, he failed to make his mark at Stamford Bridge and was sacked nine months into his contract after a run of just three victories in 12 Premier League matches.
Sao Paulo lie in eighth position in the Brazilian league, with nine points from six matches.