Ancelotti plays down Chelsea talk

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AC Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti has distanced himself from reports linking him with the vacant manager's job at Chelsea next season, but he does feel he has lost some of the affection he used to enjoy from the Rossoneri fans.

The Milan coach has come under a lot of pressure recently after slipping 11 points behind city rivals Inter in the race for the Scudetto, but rumours he is top of the list to become Chelsea's new coach in the summer were refuted on Sunday.

"That's news to me," he told Italy's Sky Sport television.

However, speaking after his team defeated Cagliari 1-0 to cement their third position in Serie A, Ancelotti said the whistles from the fans towards him and match-winner Clarence Seedorf showed signs of a possible crack in relations.

"I think there is a bit of intolerance towards me, but that is only normal," he said. "We have been together for so long and to see the same face over and over again, you need a lot of patience.

"All I can say is that my relationship with the club is still the same after seven years. I feel the same levels of esteem and affection from the club."

His future remains the focus of intense speculation in Italy and the name of Leonardo has already emerged as a potential replacement.

However, the Brazilian, who played his last game as a professional under Ancelotti in 2003 and now works as a scout and official for the Serie A club, said he had no interest in succeeding Ancelotti.

"I am not a candidate and am happy with the position I occupy," he said. "I have a great relationship with Carlo and I hope he succeeds in qualifying for the Champions League and wins the UEFA Cup.

"I am sorry to hear the rumours which are circulating at present."

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