HATCHET MAN: Chelsea's messy attempts to bring in Ancelotti show the club are now a declining force
07 April 2009 11:23
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Chelsea are looking for their sixth manager of Roman Abramovich's six year reign as owner and the club's instability is starting to hurt them.
That they are having to eat humble pie and go back in for AC Milan's Carlo Ancelotti says it all.
The Italian turned Chelsea down last summer and, publicly at least, has given signals that he may spurn them again as the demands of the job and waning status of the club start to look unattractive.
AC Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti has already turned Chelsea down once
In February, Ancelotti said: 'The only club that has made a move to sign me has been Chelsea. In the summer I met Abramovich but I didn't want to leave Milan. [If] the same thing happens now, I am not thinking about leaving.'
Ancelotti has been at Milan since 2001, the sort of long managerial run that doesn't seem possible at Chelsea.
The money on offer at Stamford Bridge would no doubt be attractive - Luiz Felipe Scolari as good as said he joined mainly for the money - but what else is?
They have an ageing side, transfer funds seem to have dried up relative to what they were and anything short of Champions League success would probably be seen as unsatisfactory.
Chelsea are no longer the developing prospect which Jose Mourinho walked into in 2004.
After the Special One made them successful, keeping them there and turning the world blue is proving more difficult.
It used to be said that Abramovich could invite players and managers on to his yacht and they would melt in the palm of his hand.
But if Ancelotti was invited there now, there are no guarantees that the 'yes' boat would have the same effect.