Ancelotti would like to coach Gerrard 'the complete midfielder'

Carlo Ancelotti, the Chelsea manager, was so fulsome in his praise yesterday of Steven Gerrard in the wake of the Liverpool midfielder's hat-trick against Napoli on Thursday night, he left reporters questioning whether the Premier League champions might be considering another offer for the player they tried to sign for £35m in 2004.

Ancelotti denied it. "No, he is not on our list," the Italian said, before adding later: "I'm not interested because I don't have the money to buy."

Those days are gone at Stamford Bridge now austerity is hitting home. What is more, if there is one player likely to move from Anfield to Chelsea in the near future it will be striker Fernando Torres rather than the Merseyside club's phenomenal midfielder. So when Ancelotti spoke yesterday of his desire to manage Gerrard one day, it was perhaps more with an eye on the England job than the opening to another prolonged transfer saga.

Ancelotti, whose team visit Anfield tomorrow, holds Gerrard in the very highest esteem, and he considers him to be a midfielder almost without peer in the modern game.

"Obviously he's one of the best players in the world and I'd like to manage him one time in the future," Ancelotti said. "If you can manage the best players, it's easier to win. I don't know him as a person. I think he's a good man. But the reason I would like to manage him is because I've managed a lot of fantastic players, and he's one of the best players."

Ancelotti said there is currently no one in the world capable of performing in the centre of the park quite like Gerrard. "In Italy, when I played, there were players like [Giancarlo] Antognoni at Fiorentina, Rainer Bonhof in Germany. Today, Gerrard. Full stop. He can be a holding midfielder. He has fantastic shots, passes and skills. He is the complete midfielder," said Ancelotti.

In addition, the Italian insisted playing both Gerrard and Frank Lampard in the same team should not be a problem, despite it being a major headache for a succession of England managers over the past decade. "Obviously they can play together if the shape is good for them," Ancelotti said. "And also if they have the support of the other players. One team can support the performances of Gerrard and Lampard in their side. Lampard has to play as he plays with us, on the left. And Gerrard can play in every position on the pitch in midfield."

Ancelotti recognises in Gerrard the same spirit he sees in his own captain John Terry, the rarest of modern players who have come through the youth ranks at a top side and are ingrained with the club's character. He said: "I think Gerrard knows very well the tradition and history of this club. He's happy to wear the shirt. The shirt is 'inside' him. For this reason, it's important for the other players to have a team-mate who is a 'Liverpool player'. It's the same with Terry, and was with [Paolo] Maldini [at Milan]. They're very good examples for the young players or those who arrive in the new team. They show the right behaviour of what is expected of them as a Liverpool or Chelsea player."

Tomorrow's trip to Liverpool leaves the Chelsea manager with a feeling of unfinished business, and a grudge that dates back to 1984, when an injured Ancelotti watched from the stands in Rome's Olympic Stadium as his Roma team-mates lost the European Cup final to Joe Fagan's Liverpool team on penalties.

He was to suffer again in the 2005 Champions League final, when Gerrard inspired Liverpool's miraculous comeback from 3-0 at half-time to beat Ancelotti's Milan on penalties, with goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek mimicking Bruce Grobelaar's 1984 wobbly leg antics during the shootout. The Italian grabbed some revenge two years later, when Milan beat Liverpool 2-1 in the final at Athens.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
peopleLiam Williams posted photo of himself dressed as Wilfried Bony
Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice finalists Mark Wright and Bianca Miller
tvBut who should win The Apprentice?
News
The monkey made several attempts to revive his friend before he regained consciousness
video
Extras
indybest
News
Elton John and David Furnish will marry on 21 December 2014
peopleSinger posts pictures of nuptials throughout the day
Sport
Brendan Rodgers looks on from the touchline
SPORT
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick