Originally published: 12th September, 2015, 8:00 AM

EXCLUSIVE | By Italy correspondent Gianluigi Carozzini

Carlo Ancelotti wants to succeed Arsene Wenger at Arsenal, Football Insider sources understand.

The Italian manager is interested in returning to the Premier League following his sabbatical and would be keen to speak to the north Londoners.

[nextpage title=”Next page”]

Ancelotti was on Arsenal’s radar before Wenger signed his new contract in May 2014 and he is highly regarded by senior officials at Emirates Stadium.

His past association with Chelsea, who he steered to the Premier League-FA Cup double in his first season before being sacked a year later, would not put off the Gunners hierarchy.

The 56-year-old, who is the only manager to win three Champions League crowns, left Real Madrid in May after a trophyless season and declared he would take 12 months off from coaching.

He was approached about replacing Brendan Rodgers at Liverpool before Jurgen Klopp was appointed but was not convinced it would be the right career move.

He has told allies that he will not listen to offers until next year and it remains to be seen if the Arsenal post will be available.

But Ancelotti is keen on returning to the Premier League following two seasons in charge of Real and Paris Saint-Germain respectively.

Wenger, who turns 66 this month, has 20 months on his contract but the agreement is believed to include a provision for him to step down next summer.

Arsene Wenger, Arsenal

The Frenchman is expected to have a big say in the identity of his successor and has a good relationship with Ancelotti. Wenger has spoken privately and publicly of his admiration for Swansea manager Garry Monk, who he claimed should have been named manager of the year last season.

Wenger has been at the Arsenal helm for 19 years and has steered the club to consecutive FA Cup triumphs, althoug the Londoners have not won the Premier League for 11 years.

In other Arsenal news, the Premier League club are hoping to narrow the gap on leaders Manchester City after the international break.