No Chelsea guarantees for Ancelotti

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Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay stopped short of guaranteeing Carlo Ancelotti would still be manager next season but insisted the club were "happy" with the season so far.

Gourlay reiterated that Ancelotti's contract runs for a further season, and said the club understood the league title could not be won every year. However, when asked directly if Ancelotti would stay on, Gourlay did not give a straight answer.

"All you can say is that Carlo has a contract with the club until 2012," he said on Radio Five Live's Sportsweek.

"We're delighted with Carlo and what he's achieved so far. These things can be pretty fickle. Carlo has come in and won the double last season. Yes, the expectations are high, but they are high at many clubs around Europe and we've got to be realistic.

"Let's see where we are at the end of May."

Chelsea are fourth in the Barclays Premier League after run of poor results saw them surrender a once-comfortable lead at the top of the table. They can go third if they beat Manchester City on Sunday to leapfrog them in the table.

Gourlay did give an endorsement to Ancelotti's qualities as a manager.

"Carlos is a world class coach," he said. "You look at his record and it speaks for itself. His record at Chelsea in a short time, winning the double in the first season in a new league, coming out of Italy, is a great feat.

"This is a strong, competitive league, but his knowledge of the game is second to none and he holds a dressing room well. He's won the Champions League twice as a coach and twice as a player so he's been there and done it.

"We understand it is very, very difficult to win trophies every year. What's very important for this club is to be competiting for trophies in the latter stages of every competition."

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