Roberto Di Matteo has reportedly agreed to become the new Aston Villa boss, with an official announcement expected in the next 48 hours.
The Italian tactician has long been seen as the preferred choice for new owner Dr Tony Xia, with both David Moyes and Nigel Pearson also previously in the running.
However, with both men now out of the race, it has been left to Di Matteo to agree to terms, with The Sun claiming that after a positive meeting with Villa chairman Steve Hollis, the club are convinced that the former Chelsea boss is the right man for the job.
It is understood that Di Matteo was told that his task would be to restore the club’s past glories, and his ideas for the future were exactly what the club wanted to hear with Hollis, Xia and all concerned in agreement that the 46-year-old should be appointed with a £35,000-a-week deal being touted.
Villa will prepare for life in the Championship in the coming months following on from a miserable season last year that saw them win just three of their 38 games to finish bottom of the Premier League table.
Following Xia’s takeover, which is incidentally still awaiting the green light from the Football League, things will have to move quickly with Di Matteo to be appointed before having the entire summer to rebuild the squad and ensure that the club is ready to make an immediate return to the top flight.
Di Matteo’s experience of getting West Bromwich Albion promoted before winning the Champions League with Chelsea will have proven his pedigree in management, although he’ll hope to enjoy more success with Villa than he did in his last job with Schalke.
With several of their players falling well below the expected standards last season, should Di Matteo be appointed, he will certainly have a major task on his hands this summer to get the club ready for what will undoubtedly be a gruelling campaign in the second tier of English football.