Arsene Wenger indicated to Arsenal’s board that Carlo Ancelotti was his preferred choice to succeed him as manager, according to claims in Italy.
Wenger called time on his 22-year reign at the end of last season and Unai Emery was appointed as his successor in the summer.
But according to Rai Sports reporter Ciro Venerato, Ancelotti was open to joining Arsenal and had backing from Wenger.
Ancelotti, meanwhile, is set to face Arsenal next month as his Napoli side will face the Gunners in the Europa League quarter-finals.
‘I’ll tell you a behind-the scenes story dating back to last summer when Arsene Wenger indicated Carlo Ancelotti as his possible heir and successor on the Arsenal bench,’ Venerato told TV Luna’s ‘Goal Show’.
‘Carlo Ancelotti, as you know, has a Canadian wife and the whole family lives in London. So he was interested.
‘Arsenal then chose Unai Emery and at that point Carlo Ancelotti signed for Napoli.
‘But he has not forgotten that Arsenal rejected him.’