Chelsea are still hopeful of persuading Pep Guardiola to take up that vacant managerial position at Stamford Bridge after the departure of Roberto di Matteo this morning, according to the Telegraph.

Chelsea have long been linked with a move for the former Barcelona coach, who stepped away from the game following a stunningly-successful four year spell with the Catalan club.

Guardiola guided Barcelona to three consecutive league titles along with two Champions League final wins before resigning and taking a year out of the game, citing exhaustion.

The former Barca midfielder is unlikely to make an early return to the game having previously stated that he will enjoy his time away from football before making a return in the new year.

However according to the Telegraph, Guardiola is being spoken to directly by Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich in the aftermath of Di Matteo’s sacking this morning.

Di Matteo was handed a two year deal to become Chelsea’s permanent manager over the summer after the club reportedly failed with an attempt to get Guardiola on board straight away.

The Italian was sacked after Chelsea’s 3-0 defeat against Juventus in the Champions League last night, which leaves them on the brink of becoming the first defending champions to exit the competition at the group stages.

The former West Brom boss lasted just five months as permanent boss and his sacking comes 6 months after he won the Champions League trophy for the Blues against Bayern Munich.

Guardiola is currently in New York with his family, and is likely to turn down another offer to take over at Stamford Bridge, despite seemingly wanting to make the move to the Premier League when he does return.

The most likely solution appears to be the appointment of a caretaker manager until the end of the season before another move to make Guardiola Chelsea’s full-time manager.

Former Liverpool coach Rafa Benitez is the hot favourite to take over on a temporary basis, and could be announced as interim coach as soon as this afternoon.

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