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Ancelotti: “There Was Never Any Contact” with Liverpool

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Despite rumours of Liverpool interest, Carlo Ancelotti says he was never in contact with Liverpool about the possibility he could replace Brendan Rodgers.

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Shortly after Jürgen Klopp was named Liverpool's new manager, Harry Redknapp tried to get some attention for himself by claiming he hadn't been the club's first choice. That instead, high-ranking sources at Anfield had informed him the first choice had actually been Carlo Ancelotti, and that the club had gone so far as to offer the Italian the job.

However, according to the man in question, that wasn't the case at all. Despite plenty of talk connecting him to Liverpool since last summer—and given he was one of two world class managers out of work while Liverpool's managerial situation appeared tenuous at best, such talk was hardly surprising—he says he never had contact with the people running Liverpool and that he was never offered the job.

"With Liverpool there was never any contact," said the three-time Champions League winner, who has this week been linked with a move to Bayern Munich to replace Pep Guardiola next summer. "When a job becomes available, they always use the names of coaches currently without a team, so my name was thrown out there. But I have never had any direct contact with the directors of Liverpool."

Direct contact may be a pointedly chosen piece of phrasing, as it doesn't rule out the club sending out feelers to Ancelotti or his representatives at some stage. It does, though, rule out the kind of serious interest that would lead to a contract offer. Liverpool may have inquired. And Ancelotti may have signalled he wasn't ready to get back into the game. But if so, the club doesn't appear to have fought to sign him.

That would seem in line with the widely held belief that Klopp was always the first choice. That in fact he's been first choice pretty much since the day Fenway Sports Group swindled Liverpool away from Tom Hicks and George Gillett. Only before now, Klopp was never a realistic target and so the club made do with trying to find and hire the man they thought could become the next Jürgen Klopp.

The plan didn't work out despite their best intentions and some serious financial backing, and with Klopp becoming available over the past year, they moved swiftly and decisively—and successfully—for their first choice manager.