Barenboim visited the famed Milan opera house this week to conduct a Christmas concert amid rumors that he might be interested in the post. The concert, according to the Guardian, was rapturously received; afterwards, the conductor was asked about replacing Riccardo Muti, who resigned in April.
For now, Barenboim told Milan's Corriere della Sera, he would concentrate on his scheduled engagements at La Scala—a piano recital, an orchestral concert, and a Tristan und Isolde in 2007. "Then," he said, "we'll see."
Stephan_ Lissner, the general director of La Scala, has said that he doesn't intend to replace Muti in the next two years. In the meantime, he has hired a series of guest conductors, including Riccardo Chailly, Lorin Maazel, Vladimir Jurowski, Roberto Abbado, and Christopher Hogwood.
Barenboim leaves his post in Chicago, which he has held since 1991, at the end of the season. He is also the music director of the Berlin State Opera.
Ten months ago, the rumors were flying in the other direction, when Muti, shortly after leaving La Scala, implied that he was considering an offer to replace Barenboim in Chicago. But the CSO said that it had merely asked Muti to appear as a guest conductor.