Ancelotti eyes Madrid post as Beckham says farewell

David Beckham: 'Perfect' exit. Picture: Reuters
David Beckham: 'Perfect' exit. Picture: Reuters
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PARIS St Germain president Nasser Al Khelaifi insists coach Carlo Ancelotti will not be allowed to leave for Real Madrid.

The Italian met with Al Khelaifi and sporting director Leonardo yesterday and asked to be released from his contract to move to the Bernabeu, where a vacancy is expected to materialise as Jose Mourinho continues to be linked with a return to Chelsea.

But Al Khelaifi, the figurehead of the club’s owners Qatar Sports Investments, insists the 54-year-old must honour the remaining year of his contract in the French capital. “Yes, we had discussions, he asked to depart for Real Madrid,” Al Khelaifi said. “I said it is not possible because he has a contract for one year more, so that is our decision. It is his problem, it is not our problem. We have offered him another year more on his contract as well as the one he has. When you have a contract, everyone is normally obliged to honour that.”

Ancelotti has just led big-spending PSG to their first Ligue 1 title in 19 years, as well as a Champions League quarter-final.

Even though Arsenal manager and former England manager Fabio Capello have been linked with the French champions, Leonardo insists no plans have been made to replace Ancelotti. “The priority is still that he stays. We have not contacted any other coaches.”

Meanwhile, Ancelotti believes David Beckham could confound expectations and become a manager. Beckham seems likely to have played his final professional game after the emotional farewell he received while captaining PSG to a 3-1 win against Brest on Saturday night.

There remains an outside chance of him being involved in the Ligue 1 champions’ last game of the season against Lorient next weekend, but the manner of his 82nd-minute departure at the Parc des Princes – a deafening ovation and warm embraces with team-mates – suggested the former England captain has taken to the field for the final time.

Ancelotti said: “Today he finished as an old player, tomorrow he will be perhaps a young manager. I’m proud of having coached a great player and professional who gave a beautiful image to the game.”

Beckham said: “To go out like I did couldn’t have been any more perfect.”