The remarkable success that Chelsea's interim manager, the 41 year old Roberto Di Matteo, has enjoyed since being appointed as a stopgap solution in March has created quite a pickle for club owner Roman Abramovich. The Russian billionaire would have been eyeing the appointment of a high-profile name like Pep Guardiola, Fabio Capello or even former manager Jose Mourinho or Spurs' boss Harry Redknapp for the next season, after his Andre Villas-Boas experiment failed. Di Matteo, it is clear, was never really a permanent solution but the incredible run of form and the FA Cup and maiden Champions League crowns make it impossible, really, to not appoint him.
However, such is Abramovich's determination to get his way that the club has said, according to an earlier IBTimes UK report, no more than that they are "seriously considering" Di Matteo as a candidate (still only as a candidate, mind you) following the win in Munich.
Di Matteo himself has refused to comment on his future beyond saying he wanted a break for a short while. However, the best indications of his future are probably comments he was believed to have made earlier in the season, in the aftermath of the FA Cup final triumph against Liverpool.
"Robbie is determined to go for glory against Bayern, even though he's resigned to leaving regardless of what happens in Munich. He has tried to talk to the club's hierarchy about pre-season training for next season and been given very short shrift," The Sun quoted a senior Chelsea source as saying.
It now appears, according to reports in the Daily Mail, should Abramovich be perverse enough to send Di Matteo packing, Aston Villa will leap to the Italian's aid and offer him the post at Villa Park instead. The club fired manager Alex McLeish last week, after a poor campaign in which the Villans finished 16th and only two points above the final relegation spot.
The club's owner Randy Lerner has reportedly also been in contact with former Manchester United striker Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who now manages his hometown club of Molde in Norway and Norwich City boss Paul Lambert. The latter has reportedly turned down the offer to return to England, while Lambert remains favourite for the job. Wigan Athletic's Spanish boss Roberto Martinez is also in the frame, should he not be able to agree terms with Liverpool.
However, should Di Matteo become available and terms be satisfactory, there can be no denying he will be Lerner's first choice to try and rebuild the club and its fortunes.