The Sun says chief executive Brian Barwick insists he wants a "world-class" manager to replace Steve McClaren but knows that man will not come cheap.
Front-runner Mourinho was on £5m-a-year at Chelsea and would not take anything less to manage England.
Others in the frame such as Fabio Capello and Jurgen Klinsmann are aware Sven Goran Eriksson was on £5m-a- year when he left at the end of the 2006 World Cup.
The FA are also flexible over the length of a contract. Four years is a possibility, though some potential bosses may prefer the option of a deal that only runs until the end of the next World Cup, knowing success would give them a huge bargaining tool.
Rather than an all-in salary, the FA board would prefer to offer a wage structure involving a basic pay package of around £3m-a-year with massive bonuses.
Those would include £2m for World Cup qualification and possibly another £2m for winning the competition itself.
But the worry is that the biggest names will not do the job if they are not paid the going rate at the outset without having to depend on getting results.