Aston Villa close to confirming Roberto Di Matteo as manager, say Sky sources

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Pete Colley reports on the Aston Villa managerial front outside Villa's training ground as Roberto Di Matteo gets set to be appointed

Aston Villa are close to announcing Roberto Di Matteo as their new manager with Steve Clarke his assistant, according to Sky sources.

The club's new owner Dr Tony Xia is understood to have been impressed with Di Matteo's CV and his plans for the Villa squad, but despite reports circulating that the deal was done, Sky Sports News HQ reporter Pete Colley says nothing is signed yet.

"They are negotiating," he said. "Roberto Di Matteo is trying to bring in an assistant in Steve Clarke. The negotiations are going well and should be wrapped up on Friday morning. 

Who is Tony Xia?

Who is Tony Xia?

All you need to know about Villa's new owner

"We are expecting a statement at some point on Friday. We are also expecting Di Matteo to arrive at Villa on Friday, but I am hearing that there will be no parading of the new manager. 

"They want to get this over the line, so that he can get down to work and try to get Aston Villa back into the Premier League."

The former Chelsea boss, who stepped down at Schalke a year ago after a seven-month spell at the German club, is understood to have been at the top of Villa's wish-list ever since the takeover, with new owner Dr Tony Jiantong Xia looking to make a marquee appointment to replace Remi Garde. 

Roberto Di Matteo, Chelsea, November 2012
Image: Di Matteo's CV has impressed Villa's new owner

Di Matteo led Chelsea to Champions League glory in 2012, stepping up from his role as assistant to Andre Villas-Boas, only to leave six months later following a 3-0 Champions League defeat by Juventus.

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Burnley boss Sean Dyche and David Moyes have also been linked with the Villa Park vacancy. 

Damien Comolli was initially touted as a possible technical director but the former director of football at Liverpool is not aware of any interest and has had no contact with the Chinese consortium.

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