Ancelotti leaves Milan

Image: Ancelotti: Quiet on Chelsea link

Chelsea target Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed his contract with AC Milan has been mutually terminated.

Coach terminates contract by mutual consent

Chelsea target Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed his contract with AC Milan has been mutually terminated. The 49-year-old has been in charge at Giuseppe Meazza since 2001 but has brought his time with the Rossoneri to a close. His contract in Milan was set to run for another 12 months, but that agreement has been brought to a premature end. Fears had been raised this season that he was unable to bring the best out of an underperforming squad, with his future having been called into question for much of the 2008/09 campaign. Despite being one of Milan's most successful coaches of all-time, having led them to the 2004 Serie A title and two UEFA Champions League crowns, he has been deemed surplus to requirements. "In agreement with the club we have decided to terminate the contract a year early," he told Sky Italia. "My wonderful experience with this side ends today. I thank all the players, directors, fans and everyone involved. "I think it ends in the right way and is probably the right choice for both of us. The respect and affection remains with all the people who over the years participated in this adventure." The news of his departure is likely to heighten speculation regarding an imminent move to Chelsea, with the Blues searching for a replacement for the outgoing Guus Hiddink. Ancelotti has refused to confirm that he will now be heading to Stamford Bridge, though, insisting he will be weighing up his options over the course of the next few days.

Agreement

"I can't say anything else official. I have not made any agreement with any other club." Milan president Silvio Berlusconi had not always been the most supportive in recent times, but Ancelotti refused to criticise a man he still regards as a friend. "I have great respect and love for president Berlusconi. We've had a few disagreements over the years, but this is the day to thank him for eight wonderful years of my career. "He let me spend nearly a decade at the helm of a great club that was at the top of world football, so my gratitude goes beyond the odd phone call. "The decisions were made at the end of this season. It was a complicated campaign and we left it two months ago with the agreement we'd make the decision after the final game. That's what we did. "I hope you'll know what my future is soon. London is not necessarily the guaranteed next stop." Meanwhile, Milan have named former terrace favourite Leonardo as their new manager. The ex-Brazil international has no prior managerial experience and is yet to attain the coaching badges required to coach in the Italian top flight. He is, however, set to attend a Uefa A course this summer. World Cup-winner Leonardo has recently been working as Milan's technical director but will take over in the hot-seat next season. Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani confirmed Leonardo would succeed Ancelotti. "Leonardo will be the new Milan coach. He will be officially presented tomorrow (Monday) at midday," Galliani told Rai.

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