Aston Villa has announced the appointment of Roberto Di Matteo as its new manager.
The former Chelsea manager replaces Frenchman Remi Garde, who was sacked in March ahead of Villa’s relegation from the Premier League and the Birmingham club has since then been without a permanent manager but has had Eric Black completing the season as caretaker of the team.
The 46-year-old Italian, who won the Champions League and FA Cup with Chelsea in 2012, has also successfully managed West Brom, Schalke and MK Dons.
Di Matteo, whose appointment was widely reported by British media on Thursday night, said it is an honour for him to coach Villa, promising to restore the club to its rightful place.
“It’s a wonderful honour for me to become manager of this great football club and I’m looking forward to the challenge of taking Aston Villa back to its rightful place.”
He last managed at Championship level when overseeing the promotion of West Bromwich Albion, Birmingham club Villa’s local rivals, from English football’s second-tier to the Premier League in 2010 and has been out of management since resigning as the boss of German side Schalke about a year ago.
Rumours however, has it that he will be assisted by former Reading and West Brom boss Steve Clarke. Clarke has previously been a member of Jose Mourinho’s coaching staff at Chelsea and at Liverpool where he worked under Kenny Dalglish. Although, the pair have never worked together in management but were Chelsea team-mates for two years in the 1990s.
Villa had also had an eye for ex-Manchester United boss David Moyes and new Derby County manager Nigel Pearson, but Di Matteo was always first choice. The Chinese businessman, Dr Tony Xia, whose takeover of Villa is awaiting Football League and Premier League approval, has already promised extensive funds for player recruitment this summer.