Roberto Di Matteo has been odds-on to be the next Chelsea manager since landing the double of the FA Cup and Champions League, but the recent comments of Pep Guardiola is seeing his price begin to drift.
Di Matteo was 5/1 to land the job on a full-time basis when placed in temporary charge following the sacking of Andre Villas-Boas, but was as short as 1/2 when beating Bayern Munich on penalties to land the Champions League for the first time.
Despite this achievement, there were still doubts as to whether Roman Abramovich would appoint Di Matteo permanently, given his lack of big-game experience and lack of pulling power in the transfer market.
Former England manager Fabio Capello was the first to be the considered the leading alternate candidate, but Guardiola now looks the number one target.
Guardiola won his final game as Barcelona manager in the Copa Del Rey final against Athletic Bilbao and initially stated that he was intending to take a year’s sabbatical from the game to recharge his batteries.
However, in the past few days he has said that he may consider a return sooner as long as he was “seduced” by a club.
The result is that Guardiola has shortened considerably to 9/4 in the Chelsea odds to be next manager, while Di Matteo is now 10/11.
Much will depend on whether Di Matteo is happy to accept a short-term permanent deal.
Reports suggest that he has been handed a one-year deal, which would be ideal for Abramovich as he could then approach Guardiola if he decides to go through with his leave of absence.
But Di Matteo wants a lengthier deal and given that it will be virtually impossible to better this season’s achievements, he may decide his future best lies elsewhere.