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Feb 23, 2009

Milan boss Ancelotti plays down Chelsea links

AC Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti has dismissed reports linking him with the manager's job at Chelsea next season.

Ancelotti has been continually linked with a possible move to Chelsea with Guus Hiddink not expected to stay on at Stamford Bridge on a permanent basis and the Italian is thought to be one of Chelsea's top targets if they need a new manager in the summer.

Ancelotti, who has found himself under pressure at Milan this season, has distanced himself from reports of an exit: "That's news to me," he told Sky Italia.

However, speaking after his team defeated Cagliari 1-0 to cement their third position in Serie A, Ancelotti said the whistles from the fans towards him and match-winner Clarence Seedorf showed signs of a possible crack in relations.

"I think there is a bit of intolerance towards me, but that is only normal," he said. "We have been together for so long and to see the same face over and over again, you need a lot of patience.

"All I can say is that my relationship with the club is still the same after seven years. I feel the same levels of esteem and affection from the club."

His future remains the focus of intense speculation in Italy and the name of Leonardo has already emerged as a potential replacement.

However, the Brazilian, who played his last game as a professional under Ancelotti in 2003 and now works as a scout and official for the Serie A club, said he had no interest in succeeding Ancelotti.

"I am not a candidate and am happy with the position I occupy," he said. "I have a great relationship with Carlo and I hope he succeeds in qualifying for the Champions League and wins the UEFA Cup.

"I am sorry to hear the rumours which are circulating at present."

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