CHELSEA were last night forced to publicly deny that manager Carlo Ancelotti had sensationally quit the club, following a day of intense speculation over the Italian’s future.
Suggestions surfaced that Ancelotti had become disenchanted with life at Stamford Bridge after Chelsea’s dramatic recent slump continued with a shock 1-0 defeat at Birmingham on Saturday.
As rumours spread, one bookmaker slashed its odds on him becoming the next Premier League manager to leave his post from 10/1 to 6/4 in the space of just three hours.
But the Blues emphatically rubbished whispers that the man who led them to the double just six months ago had tendered his resignation to the club’s board, only to have it rejected.
A Chelsea spokesman told City A.M. the speculation was “total nonsense”, adding that the suggestions were “a work of fiction”.
Despite the club’s rebuttal, Ancelotti’s future looks likely to remain the topic of much discussion.
Defeat to Birmingham saw Chelsea record back-to-back league defeats for the first time since 2006 and represented their third loss in four matches.
They remain top, albeit only on goal difference but have also been affected by the departure of first team coach Ray Wilkins earlier this month. Wilkins said on Saturday he was taking legal advice because he felt he had been unfairly dismissed.
When pressed on the mystery surrounding Wilkins’ departure and the fact Sir Alex Ferguson would not have allowed it to happen at Manchester United, Ancelotti said: “It is different. Ferguson has total control. I am just technical director. Full stop.”