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Aston Villa appoint Roberto Di Matteo as manager following takeover

Jamie Clark, Sports Editor | June 3, 2016

Following Chinese businessman Dr Tony Xia’s takeover of Aston Villa, the relegated West Midlands outfit have appointed former Champions League winning Chelsea coach Roberto Di Matteo as their new manager.

Swiss-born ex-Italy midfielder Di Matteo notably took fellow Birmingham club West Bromwich Albion up into the Premier League in 2010. Since being naming their new boss, the Villans have been cut into 9/1 by Coral (from 14/1) for the Championship title next term.

“It’s a wonderful honour for me to become manager of this great football club and I’m looking forward to the challenge of taking Aston Villa back to its rightful place”, said Di Matteo upon his appointment.

Winning almost half of his 83 games in charge of the Baggies, the last time Villa poached a manager who had coached local rivals it was a PR disaster.

Can RDM win over Villans faithful?

Birmingham City boss Alex McLeish proved a deeply unpopular appointment among Villans supporters, but the club are down on their luck following a dismal campaign that ended in them being rock bottom of the Premier League.

Di Matteo, 45, has spent the current season out out work following his sacking in May 2015 by Bundesliga outfit Schalke. He has also coached MK Dons at the beginning of his dugout career.

Outgoing Villa owner Randy Lerner is believed to have sold the club to Dr Xia for somewhere between £60m and £70m, and further costs will be incurred if the club returns to the Premier League within three years.

The current Villans board were keen to appoint a British manager, but Di Matteo has the Championship promotion on his CV that others like Steve Bruce, Mick McCarthy and Nigel Pearson also possess.

With an under-performing squad to assess and potentially axe en masse, Di Matteo has a lot to do at Villa Park, where he is a 7/2 chance to steer them to immediate promotion.

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