Ancelotti facing back surgery with Madrid tenure nearing end
West Ham’s faint hopes of luring Italian to East London to replace Allardyce dashed
Carlo Ancelotti is expected to be fired by Real Madrid this week, with the Italian to take a year out in order to have an operation on his back. Photograph: Afp
West Ham United’s faint hopes of convincing Carlo Ancelotti to be their new manager appear to have been dashed after the Italian, who is expected to be dismissed by Real Madrid this week, revealed he will have surgery this summer on a spinal condition.
The London club confirmed in the aftermath of Sunday’s defeat at Newcastle United that Sam Allardyce would not be retained when his contract expires at Upton Park next month. The hierarchy are fiercely ambitious and, having apparently missed out on Rafael Benítez who is destined to take over at the Bernabéu, are still exploring the possibility of luring the likes of David Moyes and Unai Emery to the Premier League, while both Slaven Bilic and Michael Laudrup have expressed an interest in taking over next season.
The fact they had considered Ancelotti is a reflection of the calibre of candidates under consideration, but the former Chelsea manager intends to take a lengthy break from the game if he leaves Real. “I’ve said it before and I can only repeat it: I’ll stop for a year [if I am sacked],” said Ancelotti. “I also have a very serious reason to stop, I need to have an operation for cervical stenosis. For some time I’ve been having tingling in my hands, if I wait any longer it may spread to my legs, so I’ve made an appointment for surgery. Frankly, I don’t know how long I’ll have to physically stop, for the post-operative phase and subsequent rehabilitation.”
The West Ham board are now considering their options, with interest registered with a number of candidates for the vacant managerial position. Jürgen Klopp is likely to set his sighs higher while Emery, who won the Europa League with Sevilla last season and hopes to retain the trophy against Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk in Warsaw on Wednesday, has reportedly been sounded out by Milan to take over at San Siro. Moyes, meanwhile, has consistently expressed a desire to remain in Spain at Real Sociedad. The former Everton and Manchester United manager is unlikely to change his mind unless his situation changes in San Sebastián.
Bilic, a former West Ham player, has left Besiktas and is eager for the chance to return to the Boleyn Ground but is untested in the Premier League, with next season critical in the London club’s development given it is their last before the move to the Olympic Stadium.
Laudrup, who won the League Cup while at Swansea, is to out of contract at the Qatari club, Lekhwiya, next month and will consider his future. The 50-year-old has won the Qatar Stars League and Crown Prince Cup during his time in Asia, but is understood to be attracted by the possibility of returning to the Premier League.