By Arsenal correspondent Tony Hughes
Carlo Ancelotti revealed today that his “number one choice” is to manage in the Premier League next season in a major hint to Arsenal, Chelsea and the Manchester clubs.
The Italian explained he will continue his sabbatical until the end of the 2015-16 campaign and is then keen to return to top-level management.
Ancelotti, who managed Chelsea for two years from 2009 to 2011, admitted he would love another crack at managing in the Premier League but ruled out replacing Jose Mourinho in the near future.
Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live’s Sportsweek programme, Ancelotti said the Premier League was his “number one choice”.
He added: “I had a fantastic experience in France and Spain. The most important thing is to start; to find a club with a good project and be competitive. If it’s in England, it’s better.
“I will stay out until the end of the season and try to find another club next season. Not just in England, it can be in another country, but my idea is not to start now.”
Ancelotti, 56, is taking a break from football and living in Vancouver following his dismissal by Real Madrid last summer, which came a year after winning the Champions League.
The most likely avenues open to Ancelotti at the end of the season could be Arsenal, Manchester City and, to a lesser extent, Manchester United.
Much will depend on how the seasons pan out for the big clubs and in Arsenal’s case, whether Arsene Wenger contemplates ending his 19-year reign.
Managing Chelsea for a second time is not on Ancelotti’s agenda. He backed the decision of owner Roman Abramovich to retain Mourinho, despite the champions losing seven of their 12 Premier League games so far this season.
Ancelotti said: “Chelsea are used to competing at the top level. They have lost a little bit of confidence in their play and arrived at bad results. Slowly they can move on from this situation.
“Mourinho is the best person to manage this because he is the one involved, he knows the situation and the condition of the players and the club took the right decision to stay with Mourinho.”