Carlo Ancelotti’s cheeky phone call that led to Real Madrid poaching him from Everton

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Everton’s appointment of Carlo Ancelotti in December 2019 was looked at with envy by those who surrounded them in the league after the Italian had built a reputation as one of the most successful managers ever. Yet just 18 months into his reign and with Everton finishing 10th in the league, he left the club in a shock move to go back to his old employers Real Madrid. And reports have emerged that the Italian cheekily coerced the club to hire him via a phone call.

Ancelotti joined the Toffees after Marco Silva was sacked following a humiliating 5-2 derby defeat to Liverpool at Anfield.

And with just one defeat in eight after he took over, Ancelotti quickly became a fan favourite at Goodison Park after losing just six games in the 19 he took control of.

Signing James Rodriguez, Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure in his first summer transfer window at the club, Everton finished Boxing Day in second place and there were hopes of European football on the cards.

But a slump of nine defeats in 23 – in which they won just eight in the process – meant the Blues finished 10th.

And it was this mid-table finish which reportedly prompted Ancelotti to call Real Madrid and ask for the manager’s job.

AS report that given Everton’s decision to insert a measly £4.4million release clause for Ancelotti’s services, the Italian initially rang Los Blancos to discuss players he could bring to Merseyside.

It was whilst he was on the phone to Jose Angel Sanchez, the general manager of Real, when he asked if they had found a replacement for Zinedine Zidane who had left in May.

The report states that when Sanchez replied to say they hadn’t, Ancelotti replied “Well, you already have,” insinuating that he would be willing to return to the Spanish capital after a spell there from 2013-2015.

He soon phoned chairman Florentino Perez, and a deal was sorted in ten minutes given that Everton’s release clause was ridiculously miniscule.

“I would like to thank the Board of Directors, the players, and the Evertonians for the tremendous support they have all given me during my time at the Club,” Ancelotti said in his leaving statement.

“I have complete respect for everyone associated with Everton and hope they can achieve the exciting opportunities they have in front of them.

“While I have enjoyed being at Everton I have been presented with an unexpected opportunity which I believe is the right move for me and my family at this time.”

Everton have since appointed ex-Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez as their manager.

With just five wins in 13 games, Benitez has yet to fully make an impression on his return to Merseyside.

However, with just £1.7m spent this summer, there is little expectation on him to do well, especially with Dominic Calvert-Lewin on the injury table and little money to invest.

The Toffees take on holders Manchester City away from home after the international break, looking for their first win in six games.

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