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 By Ben Gladwell

Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti needs back surgery, rules out AC Milan return

Carlo Ancelotti has announced he is to take a year out to recover from impending back surgery if he is relieved of his duties as Real Madrid coach, ending AC Milan's hopes of appointing him this summer.

The Italian coach said after Sunday's 7-3 victory over Getafe that he would either continue at Real next season or take an extended break from the game, while Los Blancos president Florentino Perez has called a news conference for 19.30 local time on Monday evening.

Speaking to Italian newspaper Il Giornale, Ancelotti admitted now is not the right time for him to deliver on his promise to return to Milan one day, saying instead that his back problem means he is not going to be sitting on any bench next season.

"All I can do is repeat what I said in a news conference, and that is that I am going to take a year out," Ancelotti said. "I've got a good reason to do so. I need an operation on a spinal stenosis that I've got.

"It's been a while now that I've been getting pins and needles in my hands. If I put it off any longer, it could move to my legs, which is why I've already got an appointment with the surgeon. Quite frankly I don't know how long I'll be physically unable to work, for the post-operation recovery and physiotherapy."

Ancelotti added that he has already booked accommodation with his wife in Vancouver, Canada, where the operation will be carried out.

Milan's general manager Adriano Galliani's trip to Madrid on Monday will therefore prove to be in vain, if he was hoping to return with Ancelotti's signature to take over as his club's coach from next season.

Carlo Ancelotti has been linked with the Milan coaching role currently held by his former player Filippo Inzaghi.

"It will be a pleasure to have him for dinner, but I can't change my plans," Ancelotti said. "It's already set in stone. I'm going to spend time relaxing, between Madrid and Canada. Because these two years with Real have been very tiring, believe me, and particularly challenging.

"Nobody can imagine how much it takes out of you, in terms of energy and your nervous system, to coach Real. Then I'll be going home for another event -- in a month's time, my grandchild will be born. It's an event I can't and don't want to miss."

Ancelotti will therefore disappoint Milan president Silvio Berlusconi, who had made it his objective to bring the Italian coach back to the club where he had coached for eight years, winning the Champions League twice.

"I know that he likes me like his own child," Ancelotti said. "And I can confirm I will still deliver on that promise. I always thought that if I were to come back to Italy some time to coach, I could only ever work at Milan.

"I know they have big projects and the intention to invest and relaunch their squad. But there is not going to be a lack of obstacles along the way either because the clubs who already have the top players are not going to let them go so easily."

Ancelotti added that he has been inundated with offers, but that his decision has been made. He hugged his players after their final league game of the season at the weekend, suggesting he already knows that he no longer has a future with Real.

"I thanked them one by one with a hug and a few select words," he said. "I can assure you that I'm not lacking offers: from England, Italy, Germany. And I'm sure I'll be getting plenty in the years to come also."


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