Roma try to lure Carlo Ancelotti

Italian club contacts unhappy Chelsea manager who admits his side is lacking character

The Chelsea manager, Carlo Ancelotti, has been offered a way out of Stamford Bridge by Roma, one of the clubs he used to play for.

Ancelotti, whose Chelsea team yesterday drew 1-1 with Newcastle United, has long harboured an ambition to return to Roma, who are currently coached by former Chelsea manager Claudio Ranieri. They have slipped behind Serie A leaders Milan and are understood to have been in contact with Ancelotti after the Italian voiced his unhappiness with the recent events at Chelsea, which include the sacking of his assistant, Ray Wilkins.

For the first time this season, Chelsea do not lead the Premier League, instead trailing Manchester United by two points. Ancelotti is coming under pressure, with reports the club's owner Roman Abramovich is eyeing Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola.

Ancelotti yesterday dismissed the stories, which first surfaced more than a month ago, saying: "Usually the coach is the last to know these rumours. But I know Pep Guardiola. We are not interested in what happens off the field. We focus on our training and our matches."

Ancelotti admitted Chelsea are lacking character in the prolonged absence of John Terry and Frank Lampard, mainstays of the side that won the Double last season.

Terry has missed the last three games with a persistent nerve problem in his leg that has so far failed to respond to treatment, while Lampard has been sidelined since August with groin and hernia injuries.

"They [Terry and Lampard] are very important players, not just technically, but because they have personality and character, and at the moment, we need to have that kind of player at our disposal," he said.

Chelsea are already in a state of back-room flux – the club have approached the former Barcelona director of football Txiki Begiristain about replacing sporting director Frank Arnesen, who is one of Ancelotti's allies. Arnesen announced at the weekend he will leave his post at the end of the season, although sources say he is likely to be put on gardening leave much sooner. The possible arrival of Begiristain at Stamford Bridge bolsters the view that Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola is the man the club's Russian owner Roman Abramovich ultimately wants in charge.

Yesterday's draw at Newcastle was the club's first point in three Premier League games since Abramovich's decision to sack assistant manager Ray Wilkins and replace him with chief scout Michael Emenalo. Ancelotti is deeply unhappy with the way Wilkins was sacked and, although he has agreed to accept the decision, he is understood to be uncertain about his long-term future at the champions.

Chelsea conceded an early goal to Andy Carroll but equalised through Salomon Kalou. Their mood was not improved when their flight to London was cancelled and they had to take a seven-hour coach journey instead.

In the testing circumstances, Ancelotti was relieved to have won a point. "To concede a goal every time at the start of a game is not good," he said. "But we didn't lose, this is the important thing, we got the draw."

Ancelotti said he hopes to have Terry, and maybe also Lampard, available for next week's home game against Everton. He said: "Next week for him [Terry] and Lampard will be an important week. They will start to train with the team. We have a week to control their condition and I hope both, maybe more John Terry than Lampard, will be able to play against Everton."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

Isis in Syria: Influential tribal leaders hold secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over possibility of mobilising against militants

Tribal gathering

Influential clans in Syria have held secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over the possibility of mobilising against Isis. But they are determined not to be pitted against each other
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians
Dozens of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen linked to Indian bribery scandal die mysteriously

Illnesses, car crashes and suicides

Dozens of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen linked to Indian bribery scandal die mysteriously
Srebrenica 20 years after the genocide: Why the survivors need closure

Bosnia's genocide, 20 years on

No-one is admitting where the bodies are buried - literally and metaphorically
How Comic-Con can make or break a movie: From Batman vs Superman to Star Wars: Episode VII

Power of the geek Gods

Each year at Comic-Con in San Diego, Hollywood bosses nervously present blockbusters to the hallowed crowd. It can make or break a movie
What do strawberries and cream have to do with tennis?

Perfect match

What do strawberries and cream have to do with tennis?
10 best trays

Get carried away with 10 best trays

Serve with ceremony on a tray chic carrier
Wimbledon 2015: Team Murray firing on all cylinders for SW19 title assault

Team Murray firing on all cylinders for title assault

Coaches Amélie Mauresmo and Jonas Bjorkman aiming to make Scot Wimbledon champion again
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Vasek Pospisil must ignore tiredness and tell himself: I'm in the quarter-final, baby!

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

Vasek Pospisil must ignore tiredness and tell himself: I'm in the quarter-final, baby!
Ashes 2015: Angus Fraser's top 10 moments from previous series'

Angus Fraser's top 10 Ashes moments

He played in five series against Australia and covered more as a newspaper correspondent. From Waugh to Warne and Hick to Headley, here are his highlights
Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high