The Irish Times are reporting that former Donegal manager Jim McGuinness has accepted a position as assistant coach with Chinese club Beijing Sinobo Guoan.

He will work alongside Roger Schmidt the former Beyer Leverkusen manager who was announced as Beijing’s new boss earlier this month.

McGuinness guided Donegal to their second All-Ireland success in 2012. That same year he took up a post as part of the coaching staff at Celtic. After defeat to Kerry in the 2014 All-Ireland final, the Glenties native stepped down as Donegal manager.

McGuinness, who is set to take up his new role with Beijing on Monday, said: "It’s a fantastic opportunity. It’s a level up for me and a great honour to be asked. Roger is a really prestigious European coach and just to be part of his management team is a great privilege. I also feel that it’s great timing in terms of taking the next step forward in my own coaching career.

"In terms of Celtic, every decision that was made was with their knowledge. Dermot Desmond, in particular, was implicit in any decision made. And I’d like to think that the umbilical cord won’t be cut. Everyone in the club has been hugely supportive and hopefully I will return there someday as a better coach."

"I happened to mention that I found Leverkusen’s style of play very interesting as Roger was one of the coaches whose approach I was studying very closely. And then we met at one of their Champions League games. And he was very generous with his time. He gave me a few hours on the afternoon of the game.

"They were one of the few football teams that play very direct and intense football predicated on intensity. It is about asking questions of the opposition and trying to overwhelm them and never allowing them to settle. And I was drawn to that. We stayed in touch through email.

"Then I got a text from Roger at the beginning of the summer to say he was going to be in Dublin to meet a sports firm. We met in the airport in Dublin and spent a few hours ahead of his flight to Germany and he walked me through his game plan and style of play. We just had a really good conversation. I feel that we think similarly and share core principles.

"And at the end he asked me to show him Gaelic football because he was curious about it. So we watched the highlights of the 2012 final."

McGunness has agreed a a two-and-a-half year contract with Beijing Guoan - one of the 16 clubs in the Chinese Super League. They currently lie seventh after less than impressive start to the campaign which led to the sacking of Jose Gonzalez.