Aston Villa have reportedly moved closer to appointing Roberto Di Matteo as their manager after further talks were held between the two parties.
As the club prepares for life in the Championship next season, new owner Tony Xia is under pressure to make the right appointment who will oversee an immediate return to the English top flight.
With the same three names coming up in speculation for the last few months, it appears as though Xia could be closing in on his preferred target, with Press Association Sport, as noted by ESPN FC, claiming that talks have progressed well.
Di Matteo has been out of work since leaving Schalke a year ago, but has experience that will benefit Villa, having guided West Bromwich Albion to promotion to the Premier League as well as seeing Chelsea lift the Champions League trophy under his stewardship.
Both David Moyes and Nigel Pearson were believed to be in the running, but while the former officially pulled out earlier this week, the former Leicester City boss was always seen as a second choice.
Time will tell as to whether Villa have chosen the right man, that is if Di Matteo is in fact appointed in the coming weeks, as it will be a crucial decision for their future.
Xia will likely make transfer funds available to help rebuild the squad which finished bottom of the Premier League last season with just three wins from their 38 games.
In turn, plenty of changes are required at Villa Park, and Di Matteo will certainly know that he has a job on his hands if he is to accept the offer.