Last week Sportsmail's chief football correspondent MATT LAWTON (right) was in Italy for the launch of Carlo Ancelotti's autobiography ahead of the Champions League final. Here, the Italian's indiscreet admissions and shock revelations of previous meetings with Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich are laid bare. However, they failed to put the London club off their man.
Carlo Ancelotti has sensationally revealed the details of his secretmeetings with Roman Abramovich, providing a rare insight into theclandestine world of Chelsea's Russian owner.
The Italian has also said he could be confirmed as the new managerat Stamford Bridge as early as next week, but only if in a meeting withhis AC Milan employers he is told that his services are no longerrequired.
Ancelotti was here in Rome yesterday to launch his new autobiography and it was the stunning revelations in the first and final chapters, both about Chelsea, that attracted much of the attention.
He writes of two meetings with Chelsea. One in Geneva and onein Paris. More than once he compares himself to James Bond. No, really,he doesIt is an extraordinary book. So florid in its delivery.
As fascinating insight into the 49-year-old Italian as it is Abramovich. The impression we have of him in England is of a dour, slightly sour-faced Italian. As the book and yesterday's press conference in the Via di Ripetta demonstrated, nothing could be further from the truth.
Reading between the lines: Carlo Ancelotti's autobiography
Abramovich might consider much of it extremely inappropriate, not tomention poorly-timed, given one particular passage that talks of himdescribing Chelsea as a team without 'personality'.
Not ideal when GuusHiddink is trying to prepare the players for Saturday's FA Cup final.
The man has a vibrant, at times almost childlike imagination, and a wonderful sense of humour. At one point yesterday he pulled on his glasses and read a passage about a practical joke that was played on Mathieu Flamini. Apparently the former Arsenal midfielder was tricked into declaring a desire to give oral sex to all his new Milan colleagues.
He does make some incredible disclosures. From his dislike of Jose Mourinho to his desire to sign Franck Ribery and Xabi Alonso for Chelsea. From the two years he has spent learning English - on yesterday's evidence he is not the best student - to the dozens of DVDs he has watched that has recently left him feeling that, 'on paper', he is 'already the coach of the blues'.
Whether the book makes Abramovich withdraw his offer remains to be seen. Whether Ancelotti actually wants to move to London is also now a little difficult to ascertain when the book could be seen as career suicide.
He reflects on all the job offers he has received over the years, declaring yesterday that for as long as Milan want him he will never leave the club he regards as 'family'. That said, he also admitted yesterday that he has lied to the press when he has considered it necessary. Was he telling the truth about not having met Chelsea since last summer. 'That depends,' he replied with a wry smile.
'Me and Abramovich, Act Two. Nobody should know anything, we're allagreed. I'm wearing sunglasses. I look around and with the typicalexpression of a secret agent'In his defence, the book has been written only to raise money forStefano Borgonovo, Ancelotti's former Milan team-mate and someone nowfighting the killer disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
But it will nevertheless be interesting to see how Chelsea react when they review some of the extracts below. Even if his ghost writer, Alessandro Alciato, does admit to making it sound 'spectacular'. 'But Carlo is happy with the tone,' he said yesterday.