Soccer

Berlusconi 'flabbergasted '

2009-05-13 16:19
Carlos Ancelotti - will he stay? (File)

Rome - AC Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi Wednesday seemingly recanted his criticism of coach Carlo Ancelotti over an unsuccessful Serie A season, which he was quoted as issuing a day earlier.

La Repubblica quoted the media magnate turned politician, who is currently serving a third term as Italy's prime minister, as saying that "if this year we didn't win the scudetto it's only Ancelotti's fault.

Milan director general Adriano Galliani, however, on Wednesday told the ANSA news agency that he "heard president Berlusconi, who told me he was flabbergasted (after hearing about la Repubblica's article)."

Berlusconi, who cannot officially hold the title of club president due to a conflict of interest, reportedly spoke about Ancelotti with Italian tourists in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.

There have been frequent rumours that English powerhouse Chelsea are keen on Ancelotti, who steered Milan to win one Serie A scudetto, two Champions League titles and one Club World Cup in eight seasons.

English media on Wednesday considered Ancelotti's transfer to the London club as virtually certain at the end of the season, after the interim tenure of Dutchman Guus Hiddink.

Chelsea are said to have offered Ancelotti five million euros per season until 2013, while Milan's could pay him 3.5m euros each year up to 2012.

Milan veteran Gennaro Gattuso, however, was quoted as saying that "Ancelotti will stay on. I hope not to be wrong.

"He has a wonderful relationship with everyone in the dressing room and more than 90 per cent of the people who work at Milan want him to stay."

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