Reports surfaced Sunday that Chelsea interim manager Roberto Di Matteo is likely to be offered the position full time later this week (via Metro). The club is looking to offer Di Matteo a one-year contract after former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola took himself out of the running.
The man who led Chelsea to an incredible FA Cup victory and an improbable Champions League title has more than earned the respect of the players and fans. Had he not won those two competitions, there would still have been a clamoring for him to be brought on permanently.
He was a fan favorite as a player and cemented a legendary status with what he did after taking over for the failed Andre Villas-Boas experiment last March.
But never has the question been asked: is this the best move for Di Matteo himself?
There is no masking the fact that the Chelsea head job is one of the most unstable in sports. The data alone—eight different bosses in 10 years—makes the lifespan on manning the Blue dugout as sure as the current mood of the oft-irrational owner Roman Abramovic.
A one-year deal is also hardly a vote of confidence from the board, suggesting flukiness to last season’s success more than solid tactics.
In footballing terms, this is probably the correct offer to make. After all, the contract Di Matteo signs will push the club's money spent on the last two managers over the £70 million mark. There is no reason to invest in another multi-year deal that could fall apart before spring.
Though, that kind of offer may not be enough to keep Di Matteo around. Job security is the most prized possession in sport contracts. The desire for big money now is often second to the knowledge that you will be taken care of down the road.
Di Matteo’s success last season may not have been enough to earn Chelsea’s full confidence, but it certainly may give other “smaller” clubs the incentive they need to outbid the Blues.
Thus far, it appears Di Matteo has only been interested in claiming the spot at Chelsea. There has not even been a murmur of him considering other locations. But this could as easily be attributed to the fact that it would sabotage his chances of staying at Stamford Bridge if the club were to see him looking elsewhere.
With an offer now imminent, Di Matteo would be smart to explore his options. Taking charge of Chelsea may be a dream position, but it also leaves him much more vulnerable to a collapse than nearly any other club in the world.
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