Get Pep Now!
Byline: EXCLUSIVE NEIL ASHTON and MATT BARLOW report from Turin
ROMAN ABRAMOVICH will try to persuade Pep Guardiola to become Chelsea manager before the summer if he fires Roberto Di Matteo.
Guardiola, on a year's sabbatical in New York, has already given Chelsea strong hints that he wants the job next summer. But Abramovich, who is losing patience with Di Matteo ahead of tonight's Champions League clash with Juventus, is determined TURN TO PAGE 56, COL 3 '
From Back Page to land his man. Guardiola has made it clear he will not take up a new position before the start of next season but Chelsea's owner will stop at nothing if he decides to fire Di Matteo just six months after he landed the European Cup.
If Chelsea lose tonight they will be in danger of becoming the first team in the history of the Champions League to win the competition and be knocked out in the group stages the next year. They have a massive six days ahead as they focus on Juventus and then the Premier League clash with champions Manchester City at Stamford Bridge on Sunday. Di Matteo insisted the squad remain united ahead of the Group E game in Turin, despite confirmation of dressing-room clashes after Saturday's defeat at West Bromwich.
The Chelsea boss, who has a selection dilemma after admitting he was disappointed with the form of Fernando Torres, says the disputes are healthy for the squad. …