As the battle between Real Madrid and the Brazil football federation (CBF) for the managerial services of Carlo Ancelotti continues to rage, the Italian is refusing to be drawn in and might not reveal his plans until the end of the season.
"I'll give you the chance to ask another question," Ancelotti told a reporter at his news conference on Tuesday prior to their Champions League match against Napoli, when asked if he would be at the club for another season. "I say it again, I am not talking about my future."
With his contract due to expire at the end of the current European season and CBF president Ednaldo Rodrigues making confident noises about snagging the 64-year-old Italian, Real Madrid are scrambling to hang on to the only manager to have won the title in all of Europe's big five leagues.
A club official confirmed to Reuters that Madrid president Florentino Pérez is contemplating offering a contract extension, while a CBF director told Reuters they expect to have him in place for next year's Copa América in the United States.
The CBF expects to formally sign Ancelotti by mid-January, voiding a clause to roll his Madrid contract over for another year and say they have "legal safeguards" in place to protect their interests in case the deal falls apart.
"The president [Ednaldo Rodrigues] would not have signed Fernando Diniz to a one-year contract in a caretaker position if he did not have a serious plan in place," the CBF official told Reuters.
"Nothing has changed in the president's position since he last spoke to the media. The plan is Carlo Ancelotti and we are very comfortable and confident with the commitment we have to make it happen."
Rodrigues told Reuters in March that signing Ancelotti would be a "no brainer", and in July, at the unveiling of caretaker Diniz, he remained confident: "He [Ancelotti] will be here, you can be sure of that," he said.
Ancelotti, however, has consistently refused to engage in the discussion.
"I don't think about it [my future]," he said at a news conference last weekend. "I am proud that the Brazilian national team is talking about me but I'm not going to talk about my future until my contract is up.
"In the end, at most it would be a six-month wait. What is six months when faced with a decision of a lifetime?"
Bayer Leverkusen manager and former Real Madrid midfielder Xabi Alonso is likely to be the preferred replacement should Ancelotti go.