Ancelotti opens door to Chelsea

Milan coach sends out mixed messages to Stamford Bridge as Ferguson bemoans Barcelona's day of rest
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The Independent Football

The Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti has given mixed signals over his future as he continues to be linked with Chelsea. First the Italian said he was definitely staying at the Serie A club next season, but then he said "I am open to anything".

The 49-year-old said "It's 100 per cent certain I will still be at Milan next year" before adding "I am open to anything. It's obvious I would say yes if you ask me if I would love to coach Chelsea." He has a year left on his Milan contract but has not been offered a new deal after falling out with the club's owner, the Italian president Silvio Berlusconi.

Milan, who hope to seal an automatic Champions' League berth by claiming the runners-up spot in the league against Roma today, said during the week that Ancelotti's future could be clarified tomorrow.

"I am Milan coach until 30 June 2010," he said. "I know how things are, I don't see things cloudy, I see everything very clearly." But the clarity was not so apparent to anyone else. For good measure he added: "But a proper response on my future could be postponed by a matter of days or several years."

Sir Alex Ferguson, meanwhile, has been bemoaning the extra day of preparation that Barcelona will enjoy prior to the Champions' League final in Rome on Wednesday.

Manchester United, the Premier League champions, travel to Hull City this afternoon for the final round of matches, while Barcelona played last night in La Liga.

"Barcelona are playing on Saturday and if we had that at least we'd have had four days," he said. "We're leaving on Monday so we'll drive back from Hull, the game won't finish until 5.50pm, by the time you get everybody out of the building it's 7pm, drive back to Manchester, by the time they get home it'll be 9.30 or 9.45pm.

"Barcelona players will be sitting in their nice wee villas, resting up, watching the telly, watching Manchester United probably. Who has got the best advantage?"

It is a day of reckoning for Hull and the three clubs in the North-east, with two relegations places still up for grabs. Hull, hoping for a weakened United, have 35pts while Sunderland (36pts) will host Chelsea, Newcastle (34pts) must travel to Aston Villa and Middlesbrough (32pts) go to West Ham.