If Jose Mourinho thought he was under pressure at Chelsea then Carlo Ancelotti has just turned up the temperature that little bit more.
The Italian, who is currently jobless after being relieved of his duties at Real Madrid in June, has admitted he is ready to return to management in the new year and is targeting a position in the Premier League.
His admission comes only days after Gazzetta dello Sport claimed Chelsea officials were keeping tabs on Ancelotti as Mourinho's future at Stamford Bridge came under increasing scrutiny.
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Chelsea have lost six of their opening 12 games this season; form that has seen them drop to 16th in the Premier League table, virtually ruling them out of the title race at this early stage.
Following their latest defeat against Southampton, Roman Abramovich and a group of Chelsea bigwigs sat in a Stamford Bridge conference room well into the night to discuss their options.
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And now Ancelotti has given them food for thought, admitting he would like to return to management and is hoping for an offer from England.
“I am ready to get the engine back up and running in January. I’d like to go back to the Premier League"
Ready to return
Ancelotti told the Evening Standard: “I am ready to get the engine back up and running in January. I’d like to go back to the Premier League.
"It is the ideal environment not for football, but for the ‘game’ around football. You can work with the right amount of pressure, the necessary detachment and calm. Before I quit, I’d like to have another experience in England.
“Where will I go? Where they call me. I will talk, evaluate and decide. Up until a few weeks ago I was scared someone would call, but now I feel like I’m getting closer to that comeback."
Mourinho safe, for now
It is believed the Russian oligarch was unwilling to consider sacking the Special One in that crisis meeting, but after another abject performance against the Saints, the thought must have crossed the minds of several officials.
Should Mourinho move on, Ancelotti would be one of the favourites to replace him, even though relations between the three-time Champions League winner and Abramovich are frayed.
Ancelotti would be returning to west London for a second stint in charge of the Blues after originally guiding them to a Premier League, FA Cup double in 2010 before being unceremoniously sacked just 12 months later.