Former Blues boss is first-choice to replace fellow Italian and turn down offers from Everton and China for chance to return

CARLO ANCELOTTI is standing by for a sensational return to Chelsea.

SunSport understands that the Italian is the champions’ first choice to replace Antonio Conte whose future continues to be in doubt.

Chelsea chiefs do not expect Conte to see out the remaining 20 months of his contract and have already started planning for his exit.

Ancelotti is keen to resume his career in the Premier League after being sacked by Bayern Munich despite winning the Bundesliga in his first season in charge.

The 58-year-old bears no ill will towards Blues’ owner Roman Abramovich, who fired him in 2011 after finishing second in the League having won a title and FA Cup double a year previously.

Ancelotti has kept in touch with Chelsea executives during his time at Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern.

Real Madrid looks to China

A delegation made up of Emilio Butragueno, Jose Angel Sanchez and former club player Ronaldo Nazario has traveled to China to expand the Real Madrid brand with the Asian nation.

The promotional event, under the title Real Madrid-China Summit, took place at the Kerry Hotel in Beijing, and generated great expectations with national and international coverage handled by over 50 media members.

Growing the Real brand has always been important to the club and that doesn't appear to be changing anytime soon.

Asia is one of the most attractive markets and, as a result, resources have been amplified there in the last couple of years.

As the club's director of institutional relations, Butragueno elaborated on exactly why China is so important to the club.

"We are very happy to be here, China for us has meant a lot," he said. "We have played here quite a few times and have felt the affection of the Chinese fans.

"A hundred million people here follow Real Madrid, a very significant figure, so logically we must establish an increasingly fluid and rich relationship with them."

As the star of the event and now a world ambassador for the club, Ronaldo also shared his thoughts.

"The importance of Real Madrid in this sport is huge with a huge number of fans around the world," he added.

Florentino Perez's right hand man Jose Angel Sanchez, meanwhile, stressed that: "Out of the club's 600 million fans worldwide, 44 percent are located in Asia."

Neymar given one game suspension with further ban if offence repeated

After being shown his first red card since joining Paris Saint-Germain for a world record fee, Neymar has been handed down a one game ban by French football authorities.

The winger clashed with Marseille midfielder Florian Thauvin towards the end of the highly-charged 2-2 draw between the sides on the weekend, although many felt that the Frenchman overly dramatised his rival's physical impact.

Ruled out of PSG's fixture with Nice, Neymar will face a further one-game ban if he is found guilty of the same offence before the Ligue 1 season is over.

Furthermore, the commission have also begun disciplinary proceedings against Marseille for their fans' behaviour during the draw.

The south coast club will appear before authorities on November 16 to answer charges of fans using pyrotechnics and lasers as well as hurling objects onto the pitch and entering the playing area.

SIS World Cup threat concerns Argentina

Claudio Tapia, the president of the Argentine FA, is worried about the threat made to the South American nation's football team, ahead of the 2018 World Cup.

A group associated with ISIS recently threatened to cause trouble at the tournament, while a frightening image of Lionel Messi bleeding from one eye and wearing a prison outfit was also published.

Given that La Albiceleste are travelling to Russia in November to play the World Cup hosts and to take on Nigeria, Tapia has met with Victor Koronelli, the Russian ambassador in Argentina.

According to Ole newspaper, the team's security arrangements were discussed.

Valverde: I was very happy as a player and coach at Athletic Club

Ahead of his return to San Mames for the first time as Barcelona coach, Ernesto Valverde reiterated his pride in his time at Athletic Club.

Saturday's match will pair Les Leones against the Catalans and promises to be a special occasion for the Azulgrana manager.

"Each person has a reference team and for me that is Athletic. I was very happy there as a player and as a coach," he said.

"It's not easy, especially as a coach, because you always live with the pressure of your results, but I'm optimistic because I could enjoy [the game]."

In addition, he also talked about his other return to Greece, which will take place next week in the Champions League against Olympiacos.

"What I lived there was very special, so it was definitely one of the best successes of my life," he continued.

"What I remember most about it was the affection from the people of Greece, although I still do not know why I deserved it."

Klopp offers comfort to Lovren, Mignolet after Spurs defeat

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp has called on his players to react after their 4-1 humiliation by Tottenham Hotspur last weekend, and told under-fire keeper Simon Mignolet and centre back Dejan Lovren that he would never let them down.

Klopp refused to say if either player would start against Huddersfield Town in the Premier League on Saturday, but urged them not to pay too much attention to public criticism.

Lovren was substituted 31 minutes into the first half against Spurs, triggering a barrage of criticism of both player and manager, but Klopp advised his players to turn a blind eye to the opinions of outsiders.

"That's the world out there," the German said in an interview for the BBC's Football Focus. "If we found somebody who makes a mistake then we go on him. When we make a mistake ourselves then we don't want that anybody realises it.

"Of course, I never would let them down. Never would that happen. I hope they're smart enough not to read it (criticism) because it's very important," he added.

"I'm 50 so I'm clear in my mind, but I don't read it. Because it makes no sense why I should read that somebody says I have no clue about football.

"For the boys it would be good if they would do the same. But on the other side it's not the biggest problem in the world. We made mistakes in that game and if people then say 'Yes, you made a mistake', we knew already before."

Klopp said Liverpool needed to change something following the damaging defeat at Wembley that left them ninth in the table and 12 points behind leaders Manchester City nine matches into the season.

"It's only about reacting," he said. "It's always about reaction. If you don't feel well, you have to change the situation. And that's what we have to do."

League Cup holders Manchester United travel to Bristol City

Holders Manchester United will travel to Championship side Bristol City in the League Cup quarter-finals following a delayed draw on Thursday.

Arsenal host London rivals West Ham United and Premier League leaders Manchester City are at Leicester City in a repeat of their match at the same stage of the competition in 2013-14.

Manchester City won that game 3-1 and went on to lift the trophy.

Champions Chelsea welcome Bournemouth in the other quarter-final with all matches to be played in the week commencing Dec. 18.

The draw was due to be broadcast live on Twitter at 1600 local time, but was delayed by nearly two hours due to technical issues before being shown in a pre-recorded video.

Chelsea v Bournemouth

Arsenal v West Ham United

Leicester City v Manchester City

Bristol City v Manchester United

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