Schalke 04 have confirmed that they have parted ways with head coach Roberto Di Matteo.
The German side announced their separation from the Italian coach via a statement on their official website, with the 44-year-old opting to resign from the job after only seven and a half months in charge.
The former Chelsea midfielder, who moved to the Rhine club in October 2014, oversaw a major improvement at Schalke during a troubled campaign.
Despite sitting in the bottom half when Di Matteo took over, he managed to prompt a significant improvement in the club’s fortunes, with the Royal Blues reaching as high as third in the Bundesliga table.
However, the Gelsenkirchen outfit’s campaign ended in disappointment when a late-season decline set in —they won only two of their last ten fixtures — and ultimately missed out on a return to the Champions League.
“I offered a plan for a possible successful future and what the conditions for that would need to be,” read Di Matteo’s portion of the statement.
“It became clear that the club had a different emphasis. This is why I decided to resign from my position as head coach.”
The Italian has endured a tricky relationship with Schalke sporting director Horst Heldt, who recently suspended two of Di Matteo’s players following a poor performance in an away defeat against Koln earlier in May [via Goal].
The coach — who also featured for Lazio — had a similarly brief spell at Chelsea, but was dismissed after eight months despite becoming the first manager ever to lead a London club to the Champions League title.
Di Matteo’s redundancy may well pave the way for a move back to the Premier League. The Brentwood Gazette report that odds have shortened on the coach taking over at West Ham United, although Sky Sports previously considered the ex-Milton Keynes Dons coach to be an ‘outsider’ for the Hammers job.