Carlo Ancelotti may well be leaving Chelsea in the summer, with a breakdown in relations with Roman Abramovich and his team’s relatively poor form to blame, the Italian looks set to join Roma before the start of next season.
According to former Roma striker Ruggiero Rizzitelli, Carlo Ancelotti is in talks with the Roman club about becoming new manager. Roma are thought to be on the verge of a takeover by Italian-American businessman Thomas Di Benedetto, who is the co-owner of the Boston Red Sox.
Di Benedetto would provide Roma with significant new transfer funds, should the £110million takeover go through, and it is an open secret in Italy that Di Benedetto, a partner of Liverpool owners NESV, wants Carlo Ancelotti, who played at Roma for 8 years, to take the helm at the start of a new era for the Giallorossi.
Rizzitelli, who spent 6 years at the Stadio Olimpico, believes that his former club’s probably new owners have already sounded out Carlo Ancelotti about the prospect of returning to Rome, which is highly possible considering the rumours about his relationship with Roman Abramovich breaking down and the poor form of his Chelsea side this season,
“I believe there are negotiations with Ancelotti and Roma already. The new owners are negotiating with Ancelotti.
“It depends on the money, and qualification into the Champions League. I believe there are negotiations with Ancelotti.”
If Rizzitelli and the Italian media are right and Carlo Ancelotti is to return to Italy this summer, then who should Chelsea bring in to replace the rogue-eyebrowed one? Here are 3 managers who the Blues might turn to in the event of Carlo’s departure.
Former Dutch international and famous expectorater, Frank Rijkaard has managed at the highest level, both with club and country, having been in charge of both the Netherlands and Barcelona. Rijkaard left Galatasaray last October, after a poor start to the season, having finished third in 2009/10, but his time in Turkey fades into insignificance when you consider his other achievements.
The former midfielder took over the Dutch national team after France 1998, and despite being a complete novice as manager, Rijkaard took the Oranje to the semi-finals of Euro 2000, where they lost to Italy on penalties. After a brief unsuccessful period at Sparta Rotterdam, Rijkaard was surprisingly named Barcelona boss in 2003. In his five years at the Camp Nou, Rijkaard won the Champions League and two Primera Liga titles, as well as two Spanish Super-Cups.
He has proven he can win big trophies, that he performs better on the biggest stages and importantly that he can contend with a dressing room full of stars; Rijkaard, who is immediately available, would surely be high on Abramovich’s list of potential managers.
A former Chelsea player, World Cup winner Didier Deschamps has made an excellent name for himself in the world of management. Having taken an unfancied Monaco side to the European Cup final in 2003, Deschamps brought promotion to Serie A for Juventus following their relegation to Serie B after the 2006 Italian match-fixing scandal.
The ‘water-carrier’ has recently carried on his success with French giants Marseille, who he took to their first French title in 18 years last season; and L’OM have made the last 16 of the Champions League this year, where they drew 0-0 with Manchester United in the first leg at the Stade Velodrome.
Deschamps is an excellent young manager with a great record wherever he’s been, he knows Chelsea and the Premier League, and he speaks English. A move to Stamford Bridge would also suit the Frenchman, providing him with the next step upwards in his so-far sparkling managerial career.
The veteran Dutchman has already had a successful and popular time in charge at Chelsea; after the sacking of ‘Big Phil’ Scolari in February 2009, Hiddink took charge till the end of the season and won the Blues the FA Cup with a 2-1 win over Everton in the final. Hiddink impressed Blues fans with his professionalism, no-nonsense style, results and the unity he brought to the team, and would surely be welcomed back to the Bridge with open arms.
Hiddink is a friend of Roman Abramovich but despite the influence of Chelsea’s Russian owner, it is believed that the Dutchman, who currently manages Turkey, might not want to commit to the full-time role of a club manager at his age, 64. However, due to some poor performances by his Turkey team in their attempts to qualify for Euro 2012, Hiddink may soon find Chelsea’s interest to be freshly appealing.
Of the three names above, the most obvious immediate fit would be Guus Hiddink; the popular Dutchman has a proven record with the Blues and could presumably hit the ground running in the summer. Abramovich would have to persuade his old mate to ditch Turkey, which could prove problematic, but the Russian holds a lot of sway and should he succeed in convincing Hiddink, it could be of great advantage to Chelsea.
Rijkaard is an outsider, but the former Barca boss is still young and has shown his abilities during his time with Barcelona and the Netherlands; the bonus being that he would be immediately available and ready to stamp his mark on the squad from the start of pre-season.
Deschamps is surely the best long-term prospect for Chelsea though; for all his positives, Hiddink is an older manager and has already admitted he doesn’t see his future in club management – Deschamps by contrast is in his early 40s, has proven himself at his previous clubs and could be a real investment for the future of Chelsea should he continue his success at Stamford Bridge.
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