Robert Pires has admitted Arsenal contacted Carlo Ancelotti before they ultimately hired Unai Emery, and the Italian is a manager Pires would have liked to play for.

PARMA, ITALY - FEBRUARY 24: Carlo Ancelotti head coach of SSC Napoli looks on during the Serie A match between Parma Calcio and SSC Napoli at Stadio Ennio Tardini on February 24, 2019 in Parma, Italy. (Photo by Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images)
SHANGHAI, CHINA – JULY 19: Arsene Wenger coach of Arsenal FCshake hands with Head coach Carlo Ancelotti of FC Bayern Muenchen after the 2017 International Champions Cup football match between FC Bayern and Arsenal FC at Shanghai Stadium on July 19, 2017 in Shanghai, China. (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

A number of names were tossed around before Arsenal opted for Unai Emery as Arsene Wenger’s replacement. Carlo Ancelotti’s came up a number of times but most fans found it an underwhelming suggestion.

Robert Pires, however, thinks it would have been a good move.

His quotes have been through Google translate so, you know how that goes:

“Last summer there were contacts but then, I don’t know what happened and nothing came of it,” Pires told Radio CRC.

“Emery is doing well and has adapted quickly. Ancelotti’s touch can be seen in games like against Roma where we have seen a strong Napoli. 

“What strikes me about Napoli is his game and if he beats Arsenal, he will win the Europa League because he is stronger than Chelsea.

“It will be a very difficult race.

“If I would have liked to play in this Napoli of Carlo? For me the best way to play soccer is 4-4-2 so yes. 

“It is a module that allows you to attack and defend with balance. In midfield they have Allan who is one of the best in Europe in his role. And then I would have liked to be coached by Ancelotti because I would have learned so much from him. 

“He is one of the best coaches in world football.”

Arsenal, of course, face Ancelotti’s Napoli in the Europa League with the first leg taking place this week.

Speaking immediately after the draw, the former Chelsea boss said, “A difficult but very fascinating challenge for us, for the club and for our fans.”

Carlo Ancelotti and Unai Emery have faced each other six times with the Italian winning four and losing two. Against Arsenal, Ancelotti has faced us a total of eight times, winning five, drawing one and losing two.

Unai Emery has never faced Napoli before. The good news, however, is should Arsenal win and face Villarreal in the semi-final, there’s only one side in football Emery has won more games against and that’s Espanyol.