According to reports out of Italy, Liverpool have begun their approach for Carlo Ancelotti and made contact with his representatives in order to have a replacement lined up should Brendan Rodgers struggle over the next month. Those reports have since been amplified by the English tabloids, which will make them an unavoidable talking point in the coming weeks.
Even if Rodgers improves performances and results—and based on the last two games and a switch to three at the back it appears he may at least do that—the talk of Ancelotti never far off, colouring how many see any attempts by Rodgers to right the ship in his fourth year in charge. However, fans excited by the prospect of Ancelotti at Anfield shouldn't get ahead of themselves.
That's because as quickly as rumours of contact popped up in Italy, journalists with ties to the club shot them down, with James Pearce of the Liverpool Echo saying his sources at the club were "adamant that they have not made an approach" and that Fenway Sports group "still backed Brendan Rodgers." Though this may rightly temper speculation, it won't completely stop it.
There's no way, if Liverpool were actually sounding out Ancelotti, that they would want that to become public knowledge and so such denial would be expected. Of course, FSG could just as easily still believe in Rodgers—given the support they gave him over the summer that would hardly be unexpected—in which case such denial would equally be expected.
As for the man at the centre of it all, while Ancelotti might seem above Liverpool's current stature, managers don't necessarily seek out a club using the same criteria as players. Stability, support from the owners, and the potential to build a project all come into play—and are all things Liverpool seem to offer. Managers also tend to be older, which could mean a great deal to Liverpool if they are after Ancelotti.
"I've followed Liverpool since 1984 after facing them with Roma in the European Cup final, when we lost on penalties," Ancelotti said last year when he visited Anfield with Real Madrid in the Champions League group stage. "It's always been a club that excites me. The ‘You'll Never Walk Alone' they sing is incredible. Nobody sings an anthem like Liverpool fans."
"Tomorrow, before the game, I'm going to go out on the pitch early because I want to hear them sing it. I'm so excited—sometimes I look for it on the internet and put it on for my friends. It's something really unique, seriously. I remember back when we played them in Istanbul, and we were winning 3-0 at the break. There were 45,000 Liverpool fans in the ground singing. It was incredible."