It is being reported this morning that Chelsea are on the verge appointing Roberto Di Matteo as their permanent manager this week.
The Italian’s representatives spent the weekend in talks with Chelsea officials and the 41-year-old has been assured he is the man Roman Abramovich wants.
Di Matteo has agreed to accept the position in principle and the remaining contractual issues are expected to be ironed out this week, when the former West Brom manager returns from a family holiday.
It is thought Chelsea are likely to wait until Di Matteo is back in London before making an official announcement.
It has been speculated – even amongst those more interested in their Bet on Spain at Euro 2012 – that the former Blues midfielder will be offered an initial one-year contract with an option for a further season.
Chelsea’s league campaign was disappointing, with them eventually slipping to sixth place in the Premier League, their worst finish since Abramovich bought the club in 2003.
But the one abiding memory of 2011/12 was the sensational Champions League triumph, with the journey starting when they achieved an unlikely comeback against Napoli to progress to the quarter-finals.
The Blues toppled Benfica before knocking out defending champions Barcelona with two remarkably robust performances in the semi-final which saw them go on to defeat Bayern Munich on penalties in the final.
One issue that does remain unresolved, however, is the length of Di Matteo’s contract.
The Italian had expressed a reluctance to accept a short-term deal, fearing it would affect his authority at the club and his ability to make long-term decisions.
It is now thought the most likely scenario will see both parties agree to a longer contract with a clause that would allow either to break it after 12 months.
And Di Matteo is the man – that is most important thing. And it seems as if his case was strengthened by the willingness of the senior players to see him handed the chance to build on last season’s triumphs.
On another note, why not Bet on England to win Euro 2012 this summer?