Aston Villa end their manager search after appointing Roberto Di Matteoby Jack Kitson / 02 June 2016, 14:07Tweet
Aston Villa have appointed Roberto Di Matteo as the man to lead the troubled club out of the Championship next season. The Italian has put pen to paper and signed a deal with the Midlands club, who will play their football in the second-tier for the first time in 24 years following their disastrous drop from the Premier League.
Since sacking Remi Garde back in March, Villa have been linked with a plethora of managers, including both Nigel Pearson and David Moyes. But, Villa suffered rejection from both of their main targets, with Moyes ruling himself out of the job a couple of weeks ago, while Pearson opted to take charge of Derby instead.
Roberto Di Matteo must draw on experience
In Roberto Di Matteo Villa have hired a Champions League and FA Cup winning manager who (crucially) has experience of winning promotion to the top-flight with West Brom. Meanwhile, during an eight-year career in the dugout the 46-year-old has also taken charge of MK Dons, and most recently Germany side Schalke.
Di Matteo, who will reportedly earn £35,000 a week, is set to have cash to splash - rumoured to be around £50m - once Chinese multi-millionaire Tony Xia is granted ownership of the club. The Italian will be tasked with overhauling a stagnant squad which endured a humiliating 2015/16 season, finishing rock-bottom with a pitiful 17 points and just three wins.
An instant return to the Premier League?
A club of Villa's size and stature will be expected to bounce back at the first time of asking, although supporters will be well aware that the likes of Leeds, Southampton and Leicester all went on to suffer in the Football League following their respective relegations.
The claret and blues can currently be backed at 14/1 (Coral) to go on and win what is always an immensely competitive second-tier, while they have been handed odds of 10/3 (Sky Bet) to seal promotion. Meanwhile, it's Rafa Bentiez's Newcastle who have been installed as the hot 5/2 ante-post favourites to hoist the Championship trophy, as they too bid to conjure up an instant return to the Promised Land.