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Roberto Di Matteo Favourite For Chelsea Managerial Role After Champions League Semi-Final Success (POLL)

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DI MATTEO
Di Matteo celebrates on the Camp Nou turf after Chelsea reached the Champions League final | PA

Roberto di Matteo has emerged as favourite for the Chelsea managerial role in the wake of the club's progression to the Champions League final.

The Italian has presided over 15 games in charge of the Blues, losing only once, as he has guided them to the final of the FA Cup as well as the Munich final.

Crucially, it appears he has gained the support of Chelsea's notoriously hard-to-please playing staff.

Initially, the Italian returned to the club as one of Andre Villas-Boas's assistants on a rolling one-year contract. But when the Portuguese was sacked after a 1-0 defeat away to West Brom, Di Matteo was asked to oversee the squad until the end of the season.

The Blues' chief executive, Ron Gourlay, told talkSPORT yesterday: "We appointed Robbie until the end of the season and he's done a fantastic job.

"But we'll stick to our word and wait until the end of the season to see where we are. I think that's the best thing for everybody."

Club owner Roman Abramovich was not at Camp Nou for the team's 2-2 draw against Barcelona, and the BBC states he is set to reward the 41-year-old coach with a £750,000 bonus should he bring the European Cup to west London for the first time.

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However Laurent Blanc continues to be considered by the Russian oligarch, and his availability after the European Championship, when he is out of contract with France, would make him a frugal appointment. Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho are also in the frame.

Di Matteo was sacked by West Brom last January after a run of three wins in 18 games and was unemployed when he became a part of Villas Boas' coaching setup. He played for Chelsea between 1997-2002, scoring in two winning FA Cup finals against Middlesbrough in 1997 and Aston Villa three years later.

Frank Lampard, who will captain Chelsea at the Allianz Arena for the 19 May Champions League final, spoke of his admiration for Di Matteo after the Barcelona success.

“I can’t speak highly enough of what he’s done. He’s been incredible. And if we win the Champions League, then Robbie deserves it for what he’s done to the club," the 33-year-old said to The Sun.

“Nothing is impossible. It was meant to be impossible for Chelsea to beat Barcelona but we’ve done it.

“And what we’ve done since Robbie was put in charge of the team is no coincidence.

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