x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Ballack urges Chelsea board patience

Michael Ballack has urged the Chelsea board to give Carlo Ancelotti time to settle in - should he be named the Blues' new coach - after agreeing to stay at Stamford Bridge for another year.

Michael Ballack has urged the Chelsea board to give Carlo Ancelotti time to settle in - should he be named the Blues' new coach - after agreeing to stay at Stamford Bridge for another year. The Germany captain has not yet signed his one-year extension option but insists he will be a Chelsea player next season. "I have not signed it," said Ballack, "but everything is okay. I will be here for another year." Ballack was a second half substitute as Chelsea lifted the FA Cup on Saturday with a 2-1 win over Everton. It was the perfect send-off for interim coach Guus Hiddink who had taken over from the sacked Luiz Felipe Scolari in February, but has now returned to his main role as Russia's national coach. Chelsea have now had five managers during owner Roman Abramovich's reign and AC Milan's Ancelotti looks like being the sixth. The Blues are expected to make an official announcement early next week with the new manager being unveiled to the media in the first week of July when the players return for pre-season training. The managerial upheavals have not helped Chelsea to consolidate on the progress they made under Jose Mourinho with Avram Grant, Scolari and Hiddink all taking short stints in the Stamford Bridge manager's seat. Now Ballack is calling for some managerial stability as he looks forward to continuing his Chelsea career. "It is not done but it looks like he (Ancelotti) will be the coach next year," said Ballack. "I don't know him very well. But he has had great success with AC Milan. I think that's what we need at Chelsea, we need consistency. You always need time to adapt to a new manager." Ancelotti's future could ultimately depend on today's game against fellow Champions League-chasing rivals Fiorentina. The Rossoneri sit third just above the Viola by three points and must avoid losing by a two-goal margin at Stadio Artemio Franchi if they are to seal automatic qualification for the lucrative tournament and sidestep the potential landmine of a treacherous two-legged play-off in August.

*PA Sport