Manchester United's hopes of landing Carlo Ancelotti appear to be feint at best, with Spanish football expert Guillem Balague the latest to share his belief that the experienced Italian will remain at Real Madrid for next season.
The Red Devils are on the hunt for a new manager following last Monday's dismissal of David Moyes, with former Chelsea chief Ancelotti believed to be included on a shortlist of possible replacements. Such a move seems incredibly unlikely at this juncture, however, with many - including Balague - seemingly of the opinion that Louis van Gaal could be the number one option moving forward.
"No," Balague told talkSPORT when asked if Ancelotti could join Manchester United in the near future.
"I think the stories are right though. The Glazers want Van Gaal, that’s clear. They are willing to wait though, just so Van Gaal doesn’t believe he’s already got the job.
"It also gives them the chance to interview other people and explore other possibilities. Ancelotti is happy to be at Real Madrid, he will stay there. Man United are leaking two or three other names so that van Gaal knows he can’t get everything he wants."
While Manchester United's chances of landing Ancelotti have always appeared remote, Real Madrid's devastating victory over Bayern Munich in the second-leg of their Champions League semi-final tie on Tuesday night provided a rather apt demonstration of the sort of managerial prowess he would bring to Old Trafford.
A former double-winner during his one and only stint in the Premier League with Chelsea, Ancelotti boasts a wealth of experience at the elite level and it will presumably come as a sizable relief to the scores of Real Madrid fans who have evidently taken a shine to him.
Whether Van Gaal does indeed go on to become Moyes' permanent successor remains to be seen, but there is no doubt that the Dutchman also boasts a suitable pedigree from his time in charge of Bayern Munich, Barcelona and the Netherlands national team.