Manchester United tried and failed to lure Carlo Ancelotti to Old Trafford on two occasions, and Sir Alex Ferguson wanted him to replace him as boss, according to reports in the Daily Express.
The British publication, citing reports in Spanish daily Marca, claims that the current Real Madrid coach declined the chance to become manager of the Red Devils more than once, and professed his desire to take over at the Santiago Bernabeu when Sir Alex approached him.
United rejected twice
It’s believed that he told the legendary Scot that he wanted to manage Los Blancos instead during the summer of 2013 when the question was posed. He was then asked once more by the club after the ill-fated reign of David Moyes came to its bitter end earlier this year, only to spurn their advances for a second time.
Ancelotti, who earns a handsome €7.5 million-a-year, led Real to their much-coveted ‘La Decima’ this year by way of winning the Champions League; a feat the likes of Manuel Pellegrini and Jose Mourinho couldn’t achieve during their respective spells in charge of the Merengues.
That, coupled with the fact that his side are steamrollering their opposition this term, and have already beaten Barcelona in El Clasico, sees him in line to be handed a new 18 month deal.
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Arsenal let down
Cue disappointment at Arsenal, who are also said to have accumulated a long-running interest in acquiring the 55-year-old. Arsene Wenger’s peak years at the club appear to be well and truly over, and alongside Borussia Dortmund’s Jurgen Klopp, and potentially Bayern Munich’s Pep Guardiola, Ancelotti finds himself a prime candidate to replace him.
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As for United they might not feel too aggrieved if the Louis van Gaal regime produces as much fruit as expected. So far this term the former Premier League champions have garnered 19 points from their opening 12 matches, but their surprise 2-1 victory over Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday saw them move into the top four.
United moving forward
With plans being implemented quickly at Old Trafford there’s reason to believe that the January transfer window will see more fresh faces arrive, with a number of positions having been earmarked as in needs of improving.
Van Gaal needs to bring in a natural defensive leader to solidify his back-line, whilst midfielders such as Kevin Strootman and Arturo Vidal are never too far from the transfer rumour-mill.