Leboeuf: Di Matteo obvious choice

PA Sport

Roberto Di Matteo was the obvious choice to become full-time Chelsea manager next season, according to former Blues defender Frank Leboeuf.

The Italian has emerged as the favourite to take charge at Stamford Bridge again, albeit reportedly on a one-year rolling deal, having guided the west London club to FA Cup and Champions League success after taking over from Andre Villas-Boas as first-team coach on an interim basis in March.

Leboeuf, 44, played alongside the Italian during five seasons at Stamford Bridge and believes his old team-mate has all the qualities to continue to bring success. Leboeuf said on TalkSPORT: "He proved in four months that he had knowledge about football and what he did was absolutely fantastic. He used the strengths Chelsea had."

He added: "He knew how to cope with the situation with senior players, he put a very good atmosphere into the dressing room, and he won two titles.

"They would have been stupid not to offer him at least a year.

"We will see what will happen afterwards, because we know [former Barcelona manager] [Pep] Guardiola is back next year and maybe that is what [owner] [Roman] Abramovich has in mind, but at least Roberto would have another year to prove he is a good coach."

Despite not as yet officially having a new full-time manager in place, Chelsea have started planning for next season with the £32million signing of Belgian playmaker Eden Hazard.

Another big money move for Porto striker Hulk is said to be in the pipeline, while the future of defender Branislav Ivanovic is uncertain, along with Brazilian midfielder Ramires, who has been linked with a switch back to former club Cruzeiro.

Chelsea have also been reported to be tracking Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini. The 24-year-old, who signed a new long-term contract with the Toffees in November, admits playing European football is an attractive proposition.

Speaking to Belgian radio station RTBF, Fellaini believes his international team-mate Hazard will soon prove himself in the English top flight. Fellaini said: "It is his choice, I think he would have played in every major English club because he is quality. He is a talent, and he knows it."

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