SEA are today expected to end weeks of speculation by finally handing Champions League-winning interim manager Roberto di Matteo the job on a permanent basis.
But the Italian is only likely to get a one-year contract, despite arresting the team’s slump and leading them to an historic first triumph in Europe’s top club competition.
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has agonised over whether to entrust former Stamford Bridge midfielder Di Matteo with the position long-term since he took the helm following the sacking of Andre Villas-Boas in March.
The Russian was thought to want a big-name European coach, such as former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola, to mastermind the reinvention of an ageing side.
However, Guardiola has insisted on taking a sabbatical after stepping down from the Camp Nou hot-seat having transformed the Catalans into a team widely regarded as the world’s best. France coach Laurent Blanc, former England boss Fabio Capello and ex-Blues manager Jose Mourinho have all been linked with replacing Di Matteo.