Bridge too far

Is Carlo happy? Not a lotti...

Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti is on the verge of a dramatic departure as the Stamford Bridge club haggle over Ray Wilkins’ pay-off.

CARLO ANCELOTTI IS on the brink of quitting Stamford Bridge – several newspapers report this morning.

Despite his relatively muted response to the sudden sacking of assistant Ray Wilkins recently, the Italian is now, reportedly, pondering his future because of the club’s haggling over Wilkins’ settlement.

The Daily Mail report that the AC Milan boss is ‘appalled by the treatment Wilkins has received since his shock dismissal. The Double winning boss is understood to have consulted the League Managers’ Association over his future.’

Former chief scout Michael Emenalo has been appointed assistant coach which has caused tensions to rise in the club, according to Chelsea kremlinologists in the press.

The Sun newspaper says Ancelotti is growing frustrated with what he perceives is a lack of control.

In remarks which hinted at his discontent, the Italian said he is merely a technical director for the Premier League leaders, not the man fully in charge like Alex Ferguson at rivals Manchester United.

He said:

You compare me with Ferguson, it’s a different position. Ferguson has total control of the team. I have just technical direction. Full stop. OK?

The report claimed Ancelotti has taken advice about quitting Chelsea from the League Managers’ Association.

Chelsea held a five-point lead on both Arsenal and Manchester United at the end of October but now lead both rivals for the title only thanks to goals difference.

Ancelotti admitted he was ready to accept responsibility for the recent setbacks.

This is my job. If the team are not getting good results it is normal to have more responsibility. So I am ready for the criticism. This is the life of the coach.

The Guardian reports that the club have “rubbished” rumours that Ancelotti could quit – though the Daily Telegraph claim that Roman Abramovich’s close relationship with new Blues assistant Emenalo has “fatally undermined” Ancelotti’s authority.