Aston Villa are hopeful of announcing Roberto Di Matteo as their new manager in the next 48 hours, according to Sky sources.
The club’s new owner Dr Tony Xia is understood to have been impressed with Di Matteo’s CV and his plans for the Villa squad.
Dr Xia’s £76m takeover will only be concluded once he passes the Premier League’s owners’ and directors’ test
Villa chairman Steve Hollis had originally been keen to appoint former Leicester City boss Nigel Pearson, who has since joined Derby County.
Di Matteo, who has been deemed the ‘preferred’ choice for the Aston Villa job, was in Rome on Saturday to hold talks with Lazio over replacing Simone Inzaghi, who took over the Serie A side on a caretaker basis on April 3 following the sacking of Stefano Piol
The former Chelsea boss, who stepped down at Schalke a year ago after a seven-month spell at the German club, is understood to have been at the top of Villa’s wish-list ever since the takeover, with new owner Dr Tony Jiantong Xia looking to make a marquee appointment to replace Remi Garde.
Di Matteo led Chelsea to Champions League glory in 2012, stepping up from his role as assistant to Andre Villas-Boas, only to leave six months later following a 3-0 Champions League defeat by Juventus.