Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti has rejected suggestions that he was offered the opportunity to replace Sir Alex Ferguson as Manchester United manager last year.
The experienced Italian manager, who is preparing for Saturday’s UEFA Champions League final as his Real Madrid side tackle city rivals Atletico in Lisbon, moved to the Spanish capital after leaving Paris Saint-Germain last summer.
There had been reports that Ferguson considered Ancelotti as his successor before nominating David Moyes, who endured an ill-fated spell at the helm at Old Trafford, but the former Chelsea boss has rejected those claims.
"No, no," the Real coach told the Daily Mail. "Not true. When I decided to leave PSG I had the opportunity to come here. I didn’t want to stay at PSG.
"When I went there it was supposed to be about creating something. But after one year that had changed and it was just about the next result.
"When we went out in the quarter-finals of the Champions League, they started to complain. I decided it was time to go."
Ancelotti, who succeeded Jose Mourinho at the Bernabeu, is well aware of the volatile nature of football management, having seen his tenure at Chelsea ended by owner Roman Abramovich just 12 months after claiming the Premier League and FA Cup double.
Having claimed the Copa del Rey in his first season as Real boss, Ancelotti knows that even winning his third European Cup as a manager – a feat only previously achieved by Bob Paisley at Liverpool – will be swiftly forgotten once the new season gets under way.
"You win the Champions League but how long is the bonus? Three games next season? Not more. It’s why I never think too much about the success we have enjoyed.
"Because one day you are at the top and the next you can be at the bottom.
"I see Roman has changed his idea about Jose so maybe he will change his idea about me too,’ he added, laughing.
"You just have to love this sport. You can’t be too tired to watch, or too tired to learn, because you can change your idea about something every day."
Atletico could be missing star striker Diego Costa this weekend, with the Spain international having suffered a hamstring injury as his side claimed La Liga glory with a final-day draw at Barcelona.
Ancelotti, who expects his former club Chelsea to land Costa in the summer, admits there is added pressure on his shoulders this weekend as nine-time European champions Real look to complete La Decima, by claiming their 10th crown on Europe’s biggest stage.
"Costa is a good player," he said. "Really dangerous. Costa, he goes to Chelsea, no? He’s a very good player, and he would suit the Chelsea style, the counter-attack. But we will see.
"It will be a good game. I am excited. The great motivation is to be part of the history of this club.
"To be part of that is bigger than any personal achievement. That is the most important thing. The Champions League has given me a lot already. I have won four, as a player and a manager. But this is about the Decima; the 10th title.
"From the first day I arrived here it was about the Decima, because for Real Madrid this cup is special. I wouldn’t call it an obsession. Just a motivation."