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Roberto Di Matteo sacked by Chelsea


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Chelsea are hoping to appoint Roberto Di Matteo's successor on Wednesday.

Di Matteo was sacked following the 3-0 Champions League defeat by Juventus.

Owner Roman Abramovich is known to be a long-term admirer of Pep Guardiola but it is unclear whether the former Barcelona coach can be tempted back into management.

Chelsea have made contact with former Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez to gauge his interest in taking charge on a short-term basis.

The club's board met earlier on Wednesday and their next appointment is likely to be a short-term role rather than a long-term replacement for Di Matteo, according to BBC Sports editor David Bond.

In the statement announcing Di Matteo's sacking on Wednesday morning, Chelsea said they hoped to announce a new manager "shortly".

Chelsea, who are looking for a ninth manager since Abramovich took over in 2003, contacted Benitez before Tuesday's defeat in Italy as he assessed his options.

Benitez, 52, who is currently in Abu Dhabi, has been out of work since he was sacked by Inter Milan in December 2010 after just six months in charge, but has made it clear he is interested in the job.

He joined Liverpool from Valencia in 2004 and won the Champions League in 2005, as well as reaching the final in 2007, before leaving Anfield by mutual consent in 2010.

On Wednesday he told Abu Dhabi-based website Sport 360: "I have just found out [about Di Matteo]. Obviously Chelsea is a top side and they can compete for trophies so it goes in this category."

Asked if Chelsea had approached him, he said: "You ask directly, I cannot answer directly.

"In football a lot of people are talking so we will see what happens in the next few days. I am looking for a club that can challenge for trophies and Chelsea is one of these clubs."

When Benitez was asked about the prospect of managing on a short-term basis, he added: "I have to talk with my agent and see what he has been doing the last couple of days.

"But I am just trying to go to a team that can win. So we will find ways to have a challenge like this."

Di Matteo won the Champions League and FA Cup as caretaker manager last season and was given a two-year deal in June.

But in the wake of the defeat to Juventus, which has left the Blues on the brink of a Champions League exit, he has left Stamford Bridge after just eight months in charge.

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