By Wayne Veysey
Fabio Capello has been approached for one massive final pay-day by the China national team, Goal.com can reveal.
The former England manager has been offered a two-year deal worth $8 million per annum (€6.1m-a-year) net of tax to take charge of the senior team and restructure the age groups and scouting network in China.
Goal.com understands that Capello has indicated to Chinese football chiefs that he will only take the job if he is accompanied by Franco Baldini, the Roma general manager who was Capello’s right-hand man at Real Madrid and during the majority of his England tenure.
In turn, Baldini has told the 65-year-old that he will stay with Roma, who he rejoined for a second spell last October, until the end of the season before assessing his options.
The Chinese Football Association has indicated that it is willing to remain on stand-by and wait for Capello until the summer.
Another successful Italian manager, the 2006 Italy World Cup-winning coach Marcello Lippi has been lined up as the alternative target for China.
It is understood that Lippi, who is also a free agent, wants to wait and see what national team jobs come available in Europe after Euro 2012 before committing himself to the Chinese FA.
Football chiefs in the country are prepared to pay a large sum for a stellar name in a bid to radically overhaul the set-up of the senior and youth teams after the country was eliminated from qualification for the 2014 World Cup last November.
China's only previous appearance at a World Cup finals was in South Korea and Japan in 2002. The long-term goal of the federation is to lay the foundations for qualification for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
China want Capello and Baldini to take on a task similar to that of Jurgen Klinsmann with the USA set-up, where they would re-organise the technical structure of football across the country.
Capello is available after walking out on England in February ahead of Euro 2012 after John Terry was stripped of the captaincy by the FA without his approval.
He has told friends that he does not want to coach another Serie A team, although that does not rule out the possibility of an executive or boardroom role at one of the leading Italian clubs.