Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti has given the strongest indication yet that he will leave the club and spend a year out of the game.
Carlo Ancelotti appears to have confirmed that his Real Madrid tenure is over after revealing he requires surgery and plans to take a year off.
The 55-year-old is widely expected to end his two-year tenure at Santiago Bernabeu after failing to win a trophy this season.
Ancelotti has been linked with a return to Milan, with chief executive Adriano Galliani revealing that he was heading to Madrid to meet the Real coach.
However, the former Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea boss has spoken of his plans to take a break from the game for health reasons.
The Italian told Il Giornale: "I said it in the press conference and I repeat: I will stop for a year. Also because I have a very serious reason for stopping.
"I have to have an operation because of my cervical stenosis. For some time, it has been affecting my hands and if I lose any more time, it could pass into legs, so I have an appointment for surgery.
"And, frankly, I do not know how long I have to be physically stopped, in terms of the post-operative phase and the subsequent rehabilitation.
"It will be a pleasure to host [Galliani] for dinner, but I cannot change my programme.
"I will have the operation in Vancouver, Canada, where I have already got a house with my wife. I will rest, between Madrid and Canada. Because the two years at Real have been very tough, believe me.
"Nobody can imagine how much training Real takes out of you, in terms of physical and nervous energy.
"Then, I will return home for another event: in a month, my grandson will be born. That's something that I cannot and do not want to miss."
Ancelotti, though. refused to rule out a return to San Siro at some point in his career.
He said: "I have always said and thought that if I were to return to Italy one day to train a club, it could only be for Milan."