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Thursday, May 10, 2012
Di Matteo made to wait

ESPN staff

Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay has dismissed speculation that the club have already decided Roberto Di Matteo will not be the manager next season.

• Di Matteo backs beleaguered Terry
• Gourlay: Blues could stay at Bridge

A report in one of Thursday's newspapers suggested that Di Matteo, currently the interim manager following Andre Villas-Boas' sacking, already knows he will not get to manage the Blues on a permanent basis - despite leading them to the Champions League final and winning the FA Cup in his short spell in charge.

Gourlay, however, denies that a decision has already been made over the Italian - indicating that the club are simply sticking to a pre-arranged plan not to discuss the job until the season is over.

"The performances have improved, the results have improved, we've played our way into Champions League contention and we won the FA Cup," Gourlay said.

"Robbie knew the situation in March, he knew we wanted to get to the end of the season and we've been very consistent with that. Robbie knows the situation and we'll sit down at the end of the season."

In response to suggestions that board members had made it difficult for Di Matteo to meet with them recently, Gourlay added: "It's all speculation. Everyone on the board is available, I'm at the training ground two days a week, I travel everywhere with the club - as does the chairman and other members of the board.

"It's pure speculation, I'm not sure where it came from, but we need to just concentrate on the big game next week."

Gourlay also confirmed talks are ongoing over striker Didier Drogba's future, with the club rumoured to be unwilling to agree to the Ivorian's wishes of a two-year extension to his terms that expire this summer.

"We continue to discuss with Didier the situation," said Gourlay, who was last year prepared to offer only a new one-year contract.

"Didier loves this football club, we love Didier, and we'll continue to have the conversations. Didier and the rest of the team are completely focused on what we've got to achieve in the next week and, once that's finished, we'll sit down."




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