'ENORMOUS BOOST' FOR DI MATTEO'S HOPES
Winning the Champions League has boosted Roberto Di Matteo's chances of landing the Chelsea manager's job "enormously", according to chief executive Ron Gourlay.
After taking over from the sacked Andre Villas-Boas in a caretaker role in March, Di Matteo led the Blues to the FA Cup and then, last weekend, Champions League glory with a penalty shoot-out victory over Bayern Munich.
He is now the bookies' favourite to claim the job on a permanent basis.
Gourlay says no discussions have yet taken place with owner Roman Abramovich over a new manager.
However, had they done, Gourlay admits: "It certainly would have made the discussions a bit different.
"The fact that he has the Champions League on his CV helps him enormously.
"I know there has been speculation in the press and media about conversations with 'XYZ'. That has not been the case.
"We will sit down as a board of directors with our owner as quickly as we can and take our decision from there. We are going through that process now and then we'll sit down ... it's only been a couple of days (since the season ended)."
Gourlay said that a new man could be in charge in less than a fortnight.
"(A new manager could be appointed) any time over the next couple of weeks and certainly by the time we go on tour," he said.
"The players report back on July 4 or 5 and in an ideal world you want the coach in position by then."
Russian oligarch Abramovich has seen nine different men manage the club he purchased in 2003 but Gourlay reckons that the managerial merry-go-round at Stamford Bridge has helped maintain a level of success.
"When you take into account how many managers have been sacked or not, when you look at the success we have had on the field it has been there," he said. "We have demonstrated, whether you like our model or not, and we have delivered.
"Certainly since I have been in the role, we have always done what we believe is right for the football club in the long term."
Villas-Boas was dismissed amid rumours that senior players in the dressing room had angled for him to be removed. Gourlay admitted the players are listened to but stressed they do not have the ultimate say.
"We do listen, but at the end of the day it won't force us to rush into a decision," he said.
"We have to get it right. The players will always have a view, but at the end of the day it will be the owners and the board of directors that will decide the best way forward.
"Of course we speak to the players and we're always listening, but we won't get into the scenario where the players pick the next manager."
Latest Football News at 17:00 BST