Alessandro Costacurta has confirmed holding talks with Carlo Ancelotti but insists they did not discuss the prospect of him taking over as Italy coach.
It was reported early on Tuesday that Italian Football Federation commissioner Roberto Fabbricini, along with vice-commissioner Costacurta, spoke with Ancelotti at a Rome hotel.
The former Real Madrid and Bayern Munich boss has been linked with replacing Arsene Wenger at Arsenal as well as taking over the Italy national team, who have been led by interim coach Luigi Di Biagio since February.
Costacurta says they did speak with Ancelotti but claims it was purely coincidence that they were in the same hotel at the same time.
"We respect the rules. We talked about something else with Ancelotti," he told Sky Sport 24.
"Carlo was in Rome for personal reasons. The chosen hotel was the one where I always stay and we met there. We haven't talked about the Azzurri bench, we only joked about the opportunity. We couldn't talk about the programme and the financial side.
"Since we're loyal to the rules, we talked about something else. It's true there's a vision in which we can see Carlo, like others, on the national team's bench, but the rules are important and we must follow them.
"We need people to make themselves available. We can't get close to coaches under contract.
"There will be a meeting. I confirm the date of May 20 to choose the national team coach."
Fabbricini had earlier stressed that the meeting was not an official discussion, even though the Italian federation does consider Ancelotti a candidate.
"Ancelotti has a fairly serious family problem, and that's why he was in Rome," he told Radio Crc. "Costacurta, having a strong friendship with Ancelotti, met him and I also took part in that meeting.
"We talked about a future scenario though, but we still have a coach under contract.
"I don't think a coach can rule out a prestigious job like leading Italy. The Azzurri bench is always an objective for any coach.
"But, of course, there are other factors which affect the decision: the desire to work every day, for example."
Ancelotti responded to Arsenal rumours over the weekend, claiming he was pleased to be linked with the Gunners job, which will become available this summer following Arsene Wenger's exit.
However, he played down talk he would take over at the Emirates, saying, "The Gunners know their own future, if their plans involve me then I’m pleased from a professional point of view, but at the moment there’s nothing else."