Di Matteo to be Chelsea assistant

 

Chelsea are set to appoint former West Bromwich Albion manager Roberto di Matteo as assistant manager to Andre Villas-Boas.

The 41-year-old Italian, who is a much-loved figure by Chelsea fans having played 175 games for the club between 1996 and 2002, has been out of work since he was sacked by West Brom in February.

Di Matteo was interviewed for the vacant job at Birmingham City recently but was overlooked for former Newcastle United manager Chris Hughton. Di Matteo is best remembered for scoring one of the most famous goals in the club's history, when his long-range effort hit the Middlesbrough net after just 42 seconds of the 1997 FA Cup final.

Di Matteo, who won 34 caps for Italy, also spent a year at MK Dons before moving to West Brom in June 2009. He led them to promotion to the Premier League in his first season in charge.

The club also remain in the hunt to sign the Brazilian teenage sensation Neymar, amid claims from Sao Paulo yesterday that five European clubs have met his contract's €45m (£40m) buy-out clause. Chelsea have spent two years scouting Neymar and last week the well-connected agent Pini Zahavi was flown to Brazil to try to close a deal that would makethe striker the most expensive teenager in football history.

Santos president Luis Alvaro Ribeiro yesterday made the audacious claim that five European clubs have agreed to pay the Brazilian champions the €45m buy-out figure and are now cleared to agree terms with the player.

"We don't want to sell Neymar, but obviously there is a contractual clause they can pay," Ribeiro said. "Five European clubs have offered to meet this clause. I can't say which ones because that's an agreement between Santos and the clubs, but they're the most important European ones. We've given them permission [to speak to him]."

Speculation that Manchester City are one of the five is believed to be wide of the mark but Chelsea last night would neither confirm nor deny the reports about them from Sao Paolo. But they did confirm their interest in the 19-year-old, who comes on the recommendation of Roman Abramovich's personal talent-spotter Piet de Visser. Chelsea face competition for his signature from Real Madrid, who believe the much-hyped striker has the potential to become as good as Barcelona's Lionel Messi.

Chelsea are Chelsea are also keen to open talks with Didier Drogba over a one-year contract extension. New manager Villas-Boas is understood to want to retain Drogba, 33, despite the arrival of Fernando Torres in January and the club's pursuit of other striking options. Villas-Boas is committed to attacking football, and is believed to have sanctioned a one-year extension to Drogba's current deal, worth £130,000 a week, which runs out in 2012. Marseilles are interested in re-signing Drogba, who spent one season there before going to Chelsea in 2004.

News
Pro-Russia rebels guard a train containing the bodies of victims of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH 17 crash in Torez, Ukraine
i100
Life and Style
Child's play: letting young people roam outdoors directly contradicts the current climate
lifeHow much independence should children have?
Arts and Entertainment
Tycoons' text: Warren Buffett and Bill Gates both cite John Brookes' 'Business Adventures' as their favourite book
booksFind out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Property
Sign here, please: Magna Carta Island
propertyYours for a cool £4m
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people
News
The Commonwealth flag flies outside Westminster Abbey in central London
news
Arts and Entertainment
Struggling actors who scrape a living working in repertory theatres should get paid a 'living wage', Sir Ian McKellen has claimed
theatre
News
Skye McCole Bartusiak's mother said she didn't use drink or drugs
peopleActress was known for role in Mel Gibson film The Patriot
Arts and Entertainment
filmThe Rock to play DC character in superhero film
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Damon Albarn is starting work on a new West End musical
artsStar's 'leftfield experimental opera' is turning mainstream
Life and Style
Paul and his father
artsPaul Carter wants to play his own father in the film of his memoirs
Sport
Ben Stokes trudges off after his latest batting failure for England as Ishant Sharma celebrates one of his seven wickets
cricket
Arts and Entertainment
Members of the public are invited to submit their 'sexcapades' to Russell T Davies' new series Tofu
tv
News
Sky's Colin Brazier rummages through an MH17 victim's belongings live on air
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game
arts + ents'The Imitation Game' stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn
Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Meet the man who doesn't want to go down in history as the country's last Scottish Secretary
Legoland Windsor's master model-makers reveal the tricks of their trade (including how to stop the kids wrecking your Eiffel Tower)

Meet the people who play with Lego for a living

They are the master builders: Lego's crack team of model-makers, who have just glued down the last of 650,000 bricks as they recreate Paris in Windsor. Susie Mesure goes behind the scenes
The 20 best days out for the summer holidays: From Spitfires to summer ferry sailings

20 best days out for the summer holidays

From summer ferry sailings in Tyne and Wear and adventure days at Bear Grylls Survival Academy to Spitfires at the Imperial War Museum Duxford and bog-snorkelling at the World Alternative Games...
Open-air theatres: If all the world is a stage, then everyone gets in on the act

All the wood’s a stage

Open-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
Rand Paul is a Republican with an eye on the world

Rupert Cornwell: A Republican with an eye on the world

Rand Paul is laying out his presidential stall by taking on his party's disastrous record on foreign policy
Self-preservation society: Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish

Self-preservation society

Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish
Generation gap opens a career sinkhole

Britons live ever longer, but still society persists in glorifying youth

We are living longer but considered 'past it' younger, the reshuffle suggests. There may be trouble ahead, says DJ Taylor