English Football

Di Matteo should beware – Guardiola is a yacht trip away

Is that Barcelona in the background?

It would be a heartless man that refuses to give Roberto Di Matteo his chance to build on Chelsea’s spectacular success of 2011-12, but then Oligarchs have never really “done fluffy”.

The public, the media and the players will all urge Roman Abramovich to give RDM a contract, but even if he does , and there’s good reason to think he will keep him on, it may only be a short-term venture, even by Chelsea’s standards.

Pep Guardiola is on sabbatical. You don’t need to be a master conspiracy theorist to come up with the notion that as soon as the much-coveted coach announced his departure, Ambramovich’s yacht was snaking its way into Barcelona harbour.

Guardiola has insisted he is taking a one year break, and that may just work in Abaramovich’s favour. He will be under pressure to appoint RDM and publicly, he would look extremely ungrateful to the Italian that finally brought home the one prize that eluded the club – after just a couple of months in charge.

So, you could easily imagine a conversation in Barcelona that ended with Abramovich tabling an option on Guardiola. “We appoint Roberto and then when I doesn’t work out (i.e. we don’t have a 10 point lead at the top of the Premier), we call you in January. In the meantime, you go nowhere.” Chelsea  would have “first refusal” on Guardiola and would have given RDM his moment before kicking him into touch. Result? Abramovich gets the man he’s always wanted, the public see that RDM had his reward for Munich and everyone’s a winner. The question is – what happens when it doesn’t work out with Pep. Who’s left to entice to Stamford Bridge?

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