Not only were the two clubs in negotiation, Pirlo himself was sufficiently certain of following Ancelotti to Stamford Bridge that he had opened talks with Chelsea over personal terms.
He recalled to the Daily Mail: "Actually, Milan wouldn't let me go.
"I have a very strong connection with Ancelotti so I was in touch with him when he went to Chelsea and I'm still in touch with him now he's at Paris Saint-Germain.
"I had already started negotiating with the people at Chelsea but then finally Milan didn't let me go. That's why I stayed.
"Certainly it would have been a different experience that I'd have liked, especially when I was 30 years old. So why not? But unfortunately it didn't happen."