Chelsea are once again being linked with a move to replace manager Roberto Di Matteo with former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola.

The Daily Mail claims Guardiola has given the Blues ‘strong hints’ regarding his interest in the job in the summer, with owner Roman Abramovich ‘determined’ to land his top target.

However, the paper also claims Abramovich is hoping to persuade the Spaniard to end his New York sabbatical early, as the pressure mounts on the current Blues boss to deliver results at Stamford Bridge.

The Russian billionaire will stop at nothing to bring the former 47-cap Spain international to west London, according to the paper, if Di Matteo is given the bullet sooner rather than later.

The Italian chief faces two crucial matches in the coming days, with his Chelsea side in Turin to face Juventus in the Champions League before returning home for the Premier League clash against Manchester City on Sunday.

Defeat in both would be catastrophic following the weekend loss to West Bromwich Albion, and the pressure is starting to mount on the man who was only given the job permanently in the summer.

“We owe ourselves a good performance and anything can happen, but we’ve proved many times before that, when it counts, our players can be counted for. Everyone is fully committed for the game,” said the Chelsea chief during his pre-match press conference.

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