Carlo Ancelotti has hinted that he could be open to a return to two clubs that he has managed in the past following his sacking by Bayern Munich.
The Italian was handed his P45 by the German giants over a week ago, and revealed what he planned to do next at a packed media briefing on Friday afternoon.
In quotes attributed to Ancelotti by Calciomercato, the 58-year-old stated that he would not rule out revisiting Serie A or another club abroad - comments that could give hope to either AC Milan or Chelsea about a possible romantic return - as he denied he would be heading out to the Chinese Super League.
He said: “I don’t know if I will return to Serie A or try another experience abroad. For sure I am not going to train in China.”
Ancelotti spent nine seasons in charge of Milan until he, ironically, departed to take up the reins at Stamford Bridge in the summer of 2009.
The ex-Real Madrid boss has been heavily tipped to replace I Rossoneri manager Vincenzo Montella at San Siro after an average start to the campaign for Milan, despite their lavish spending spree this summer.
With respect to Gareth Southgate, the @FA could hire Carlo Ancelotti tomorrow... But he's foreign. So let's just be really average instead.— Martin SamueI (@themartinsamuel) October 5, 2017
Montella recently joked that he could appoint Ancelotti as his assistant to help him turn the tide, and Ancelotti returned the favour with his own typically droll quip when asked about that possibility.
He continued: “He could my assistant and vice-versa. We could coach one game each, we only have to find a team that will allow us to do it!
“I will remain on holiday for the next ten months, I don’t want to take any other job before June. I respect Montella, Di Francesco and Ventura, I hope they will win all the games until the end of the season. I still want to coach club teams not national teams.”
Chelsea, meanwhile, could grow concerned over Antonio Conte's latest comments about making a swift return to his homeland if he grows tired of the Premier League.
Ancelotti was also asked to give an explanation over why he was let go by Bundesliga champions Bayern, but he chose to remain coy over the reasoning and instead stated that his time in Bavaria was now "in the past".
He added: “Bayern Munich belong to the past. Sometimes it can happen to be sacked, there is nothing to be sorry for. I’ve always respected every player I’ve coached. As a manager I have to play 11 players and bench seven of them. It is up to the player and to the club to accept the manager’s decision.”