Ex-Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo is the favourite to become Schalke’s new manager at the end of the season, according to talkSPORT.

The former Italian international midfielder guided the Blues to Champions League glory in 2011/12 after replacing Andre Villas-Boas at the Stamford Bridge helm.

But, following a run of disappointing results at the start of the current campaign, Di Matteo was controversially replaced by ‘interim’ coach Rafa Benitez in west London.

After four months out of football, the radio station claims the 42-year-old is now front-runner to take over at Schalke, after previous favourite Armin Veh opted to stay at Eintracht Frankfurt.

Veh has worked with general manager Horst Held in the past, with the pair helping guide Stuttgart to the Bundesliga title in 2007.

However, he’s signed a contract extension in Frankfurt, leaving Schalke’s executive board to look elsewhere as they seek a replacement for their own interim chief - Jens Keller.

He and Greuther Furth boss Mike Buskens are still said to be in contention for the position permanently, but it’s Di Matteo they have to beat to land the job at the Veltins-Arena.

Di Matteo became synonymous with Chelsea during a six-year spell at the club, ending his career on the King’s Road and helping the club win two FA Cups, one League Cup and one UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup.

He went one better as manager, delivering Europe’s biggest prize for owner Roman Abramovich last season.

It wasn’t enough to keep him in a job the following campaign though, and the former Chelsea-man could find his future now lies in Germany.

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