Benfica sacked manager Rui Vitoria pa on Thursday, after oor run of results which sees them sit seven points behind leaders Porto in fourth spot.
Mourinho would prefer to take up a position at one of Europe’s leading clubs.
However, Benfica earlier considered re-hiring Mourinho for the remainder of the season, to fill Vitoria’s void and help steady the ship in the second half of the 2018/2019 campaign.
The Portuguese giant was the first club that Mourinho managed, taking the helm at the Águias between September and December in 2000.
Mourinho won six of his 11 games while in charge, drawing three and losing two.