John Mitchell has confirmed he will not be taking up a coaching role with Sale Sharks as he eyes a return to work with the Golden Lions.
Mitchell, who is currently suspended by the Lions, has been working as a consultant with Sale but he has turned down a permanent coaching position at the struggling Aviva Premiership club.
The 48-year-old insists he has "unfinished business" with the Lions and he wants to be restored as head coach of the Johannesburg-based club.
Mitchell has been found not guilty of six misconduct charges and seen six more withdrawn by the Lions.
The New Zealander is waiting to discover the findings of nine further charges, which are at the centre of a legal wrangle.
Once that situation is resolved, Mitchell wants to be back in charge of the Lions, whom he led to Currie Cup success in 2011.
"I want my head coach position back at the Lions," Mitchell said in a statement released by his management company, The Fordham Company.
"There is some unfinished business to do with the Lions.
"Furthermore, I am determined that my future will be in South Africa."