Bayern Munich coach Carlo Ancelotti has strongly denied recent claims from former Bayern star Mario Basler that he will quit the club midway through the 2017/18 season to take an offer to manage an un-named team in the Chinese Super League.
"I am supposed to be here to speak about serious things and this is a joke," Ancelotti said as he addressed the media ahead of Bayern's Champions League opener against Anderlecht.
"You have to ask Basler if he is so convinced. I think it is a joke. You know the problem is a lot of people have taken it seriously," the Italian added.
Earlier this week, Basler, who spent three years with Bayern in the late 1990s and scored in the 1999 Champions League final, had claimed a trusted source told him Ancelotti was China bound in winter.
"I have been told that Ancelotti has signed with a Chinese club," the retired winger told sport1.
'From what I understand, he could leave as soon as January because that is when the season in China starts. I cannot confirm it 100 per cent but my source is very trustworthy."
Ancelotti oversaw a continuation of Bayern's domestic dominance in 2016/17, capturing a fifth straight Bundesliga title for the club in his first season at the helm after replacing Pep Guardiola.
Bayern began 2017/18 as favourites for the title once more, but Ancelotti's team suffered an early setback after a surprise 2-0 defeat at the hands of Hoffenheim left them in 6th place.