Kalou: We loved Carlo

FORWARD Salomon Kalou has leapt to the defence of sacked Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti, insisting the players all loved the Italian.

Ancelotti was sacked on Sunday shortly after losing 1-0 at Everton – a result that capped a disappointing season in which the club failed to win a trophy.

But Kalou, the first Blues star to speak since the dismissal, praised the former AC Milan coach and backed him to flourish elsewhere.

“The players respect him and love him for what he did for the club,” he said. “We wish for Carlo to have a good time wherever he’s going. We all know that he’s a good manager and he’s going to bounce back.”

Ancelotti has spoken of his love for English football, and has encouraged the prospect of managing West Ham, despite their relegation to the Championship, while he still has no shortage of admirers in Italy.

Adriano Galliani, vice-president of Ancelotti’s former club Milan, said: “I have spoken to Carlo. He will come to see me in a couple of weeks. He is a great coach and I’m confident he will soon find a great coaching post he deserves.”

He continues to be linked with Roma, who are seeking a new manager, while their captain Francesco Totti said: “We hope that Ancelotti is one of our candidates for Roma’s bench.”