‘Sad’ Ancelotti literally laughs off talk of Chelsea return – ‘I hope Lampard does a fantastic job’

Jason Soutar
Carlo Ancelotti during a press conference

Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has ruled out a return to Chelsea.

The Blues recently appointed former manager Frank Lampard until the end of the season after sacking Graham Potter.

A host of names have been linked with the job with ex-Spain and Barcelona head coach Luis Enrique the current favourite.

Ancelotti is one of the names in the mix and he was unsurprisingly asked about the rumours ahead of Real Madrid’s Champions League quarter-final first leg against Chelsea.

During his pre-match press conference, the Italian was asked if he would consider a return to Stamford Bridge.

After he composed himself from laughing, he replied: “I am sad. I have a fantastic memory of this club & the people still working there. I’m a supporter of Chelsea because I spent two years there.

“Go back? No. I hope Lampard is able to do a fantastic job.”

Ancelotti spent two seasons at Stamford Bridge between 2009 and 2011, winning a Premier League and FA Cup double in his first year in charge.

The 63-year-old’s only other spell in England was with Everton.

He joined the Toffees in December 2019 and spent a season and a half at Goodison Park before returning to Real Madrid.

After he shut down talk of a return to Chelsea, Standard Sport journalist Nizaar Kinsella stated: ‘Ancelotti has never been considered for the role despite the huge respect for his body of work and last spell in west London.’

Ancelotti’s future at the Bernabeu is uncertain with Barcelona on course to beat Los Blancos to the La Liga title.

Barca’s disappointing 0-0 draw at home to Girona on Monday evening put them 13 points clear of their arch-rivals with 10 games remaining.

Madrid did get the better of the Blaugrana in the Copa del Rey, however, sealing a place in the final by winning 4-1 on aggregate thanks to Karim Benzema’s hat-trick in the second leg at the Nou Camp.

Barca carried a 1-0 lead from the first leg but were blown away following Vinicius Junior’s opener in first-half stoppage time in the second leg.

Ballon d’Or winner Benzema then took over, slotting in from Luka Modric’s pass to give Los Blancos the lead in the tie before grabbing his second from the penalty spot in the 58th minute after Vinicius was brought down in the box.

Benzema completed a second hat-trick in as many matches by rounding off a swift counter-attack 10 minutes from time as Xavi’s Barcelona suffered a humiliating home defeat.

READ MORE: Big Midweek: Chelsea, Napoli, Manchester United, Marcus Edwards and David Moyes