Louis van Gaal was a contender to take over as Belgium’s coach but in the end made himself unavailable, Belgian newspapers reported on Friday two days after Roberto Martinez was handed the post.
Van Gaal, dismissed by Manchester United despite winning the FA Cup in May, had a discussion about the job with Belgian football association vice president Bert Verhaeghe, according to Het Nieuwsblad.
He decided not to pursue discussions, saying he would keep a promise to his wife to take a year away from the game, but a future role was not ruled out, reports added.
The Belgians named former Everton manager Martinez as coach on Wednesday but had also discussed the post, which fell vacant when Marc Wilmots was sacked after the European Championship, with Dick Advocaat, Rolf Rangnick and Rudi Garcia.
Martinez had been out of work since being sacked by Everton in May after a frustrating season when they finished 11th in the Premier League amid considerable supporter unrest at Goodison Park.
His first match in charge will be against his native Spain on Sept. 1.
Belgium boast a number of high-profile, talented players such as Chelsea’s Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois and Manchester City’s Vincent Kompany and Kevin De Bruyne.
They have climbed to second in FIFA’s world rankings but failed to live up to their potential under Wilmots, falling short of expectations at the 2014 World Cup and at Euro 2016, where they lost to Wales in the quarter-finals.