Jose Mourinho claimed last night that he had been told Carlo Ancelotti was to be the new manager of Chelsea. Milan's hierarchy is understood to be divided on the future of Ancelotti but it is expected that Silvio Berlusconi will get his way and the club will announce the coach's departure on Monday.
Mourinho said yesterday that he was "99.9 per cent" certain he was staying at Milan's rivals Internazionale and mischievously added that he also knew the destiny of Ancelotti, whose team play their last game on Sunday. "Ciro Ferrera will go to Juventus, Ancelotti will go to Chelsea," he said in a discussion with Paolo Rossi and Gianluca Vialli on Sky Italia.
Berlusconi is understood to be keen to give the Milan job to Marco van Basten, who resigned from Ajax this month, partly to shore up support for his political party ahead of the European elections. As a former crowd favourite at Milan, Van Basten will be a high-profile, popular coach with Milan fans after eight years with Ancelotti. Milan will only qualify for the Champions League if they beat Roma in their penultimate league match on Sunday.
While Berlusconi has been critical of Ancelotti in the last month, blaming him for the team's failure to stop Internazionale winning their fifth consecutive Serie A title, there are others within the club who would like their coach to stay. Ancelotti is understood to have the support of Adriano Galliani, who said yesterday that there would be an announcement about the decision over the coach's future on Monday.
In the meantime, Guus Hiddink is still understood to be privately keen to stay with Chelsea but the agreement between the Russian football federation and Roman Abramovich is preventing him from staying at the club. The Dutch coach said yesterday that he would still field a strong team against Sunderland on Sunday despite his team playing in the FA Cup the following Saturday.
Hiddink said: "I don't want to rest a lot of people because they need to maintain their physical shape and also the way we want them to play. If I rest too many people then I don't think it's good preparation for Wembley."Reuse content