Chelsea have dismissed rumours of Carlo Ancelotti quitting the club as “absolute nonsense” amid claims that the Italian manager offered his resignation and saw it turned down by the board.
It has been suggested that the Italian was unhappy over the way the departure of his assistant, Ray Wilkins, was handled and wanted to quit the club.
But the champions have reacted by insisting that is not the case, and told Sky Sports News: “He is contracted until 2012 and speculation about his future is total nonsense.”
Speaking before Tuesday’s Champions League game against MSK Zilina, Ancelotti said: “These rumours are untrue. I’ve no idea where they’ve come from.
“I didn’t call the LMA (League managers Association). They called me last night [Sunday] when I was relaxing at home, just to find out what was going on.
“There’s no reason to think about my position. It’s very clear. I am the coach”
Opposition scout Michael Emenalo was promoted to Wilkins’ job by owner Roman Abramovich last week and, while he insisted that ”nothing has changed”, Ancelotti has revealed his displeasure at the current situation.
Ancelotti said: “You have to compare me with (Sir Alex) Ferguson, it’s a different position. Because Ferguson has total control of the team. I am just technical direction. Full stop.”
Rumours of Ancelotti’s departure and a series of bets placed have seen his odds to leave the club drastically reduced.
Meanwhile, Ancelotti said he expects to receive criticism over the team’s recent slump which has seen the Premier League leaders lose three out of their last four games.
“Obviously (criticism) can happen when the team don’t win,” Ancelotti said. “There is more responsibility on the coach but this is normal. This is my job. If the team is not doing a good job, it is normal to have more responsibility. I don’t have a problem.
“Am I prepared for criticism? Yes, I am prepared. This is the life of the coach. This is a difficult moment but I think we are capable of moving on. It is true we didn’t play well last weekend against Sunderland but we played very well against Birmingham. Everyone who saw the game can say this.
“It is important to have a difficult moment and stay top of the table. We know very well that we have lost three games in four and this is not good for Chelsea. For this reason, I have to take my responsibility. But I am not worried about the team because I think we are again able to play good football and so we have to move and look forward to the next game against Newcastle.
“How much of a concern is the defence? At Birmingham, we conceded from the one opportunity they created. We had 10-12 opportunities to score ourselves. Obviously we have to stay more concentrated if you concede one opportunity and the opponents score from it. There we have to have more concentration.
“This (the Wilkins situation) is not the reason why we lost the game(s). We lost the games because in four games, we scored just one goal. We have to improve there, to stay more in focus, we have to continue to play like we did against Birmingham.”