Ashley Cole says Carlo Ancelotti did “magnificently” at Chelsea, but hopes Freddie Ljungberg becomes the next permanent manager at Arsenal.

Ancelotti was fired by Napoli on Tuesday and has emerged as a possible candidate for the vacancies at Everton and Cole’s old club Arsenal.

Napoli announced the decision to dismiss Ancelotti an hour after he led the club to the knockout stages of the Champions League with a 4-0 home win against Genk, ending a nine-match run in all competitions without victory.

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Cole, who says he came closing to leaving Chelsea in 2010, won the Premier League and FA Cup double under Ancelotti during the Italian’s tenure at Stamford Bridge.

“A lot was spoken about whether I was going to leave or not but my heart was to stay at Chelsea,” said Cole.

“Carlo did magnificently with the team. I liked how he was, not just as a manager but as a man. He was like your best friend.”

Since Unai Emery’s sacking at Arsenal, Freddie Ljungberg has taken over in an interim role and guided the Gunners to a 3-1 win at West Ham on Monday, following defeat at home to Brighton and a draw at Norwich.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Arsenal’s win over West Ham in the Premier League

FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Arsenal’s win over West Ham in the Premier League

“There were a lot of people saying ‘Wenger out’. Then Wenger went and maybe they (the fans) understood what he actually did for the club and how he kept it together.

“Arsenal are in a transition period – they tried Emery and for whatever reason it didn’t work out.