Carlo Ancelotti has claimed he turned down the chance to become the new Italy manager.
The 58-year-old, who was sacked by Bayern Munich in September, revealed he spoke to the Italian Football Federation about the post vacated by Gian Piero Ventura in the wake of the nation's failure to qualify for next summer's World Cup finals.
However, he politely declined as he wants to continue in club football.
Ancelotti told broadcaster RAI: "I would like to continue to train a club team. The national team? It would be like changing jobs.
"Italian football has problems and I do not think I can solve them on my own. It's a federation problem."
Former AC Milan, Chelsea and Paris St Germain boss Ancelotti went on to elaborate on those problems, which he believes need addressing from grass roots level upwards.
He said: "We're not at the top level in Europe anymore. It's an unlucky cycle. Italian football has problems that the federation has to solve.
"We need to develop children, set rules and carry out reforms. Great footballers are not born every day, unfortunately.
"The FIGC [Federazione Italiana Giuoco Calcio] contacted me and I told them the same things. The federation must focus on the clubs. Italy needs a strong federation."