at the Union Buildings in Pretoria
London – Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay has said interim manager Roberto di Matteo will have to wait until after the Champions League final to discover if he will be given the job on a permanent basis.
Blues captain John Terry has made it clear Chelsea's players are backing di Matteo to be named as Andre Villas-Boas's full-time successor and the Italian underlined his credentials by leading the club to a 2-1 win over Liverpool in Saturday's FA Cup final at Wembley.
However, reports claim Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is still weighing up his final decision, with an approach for Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho, who won two Premier League titles in his first spell at Chelsea, not out of the question.
Gourlay confirmed di Matteo won't discover his fate until after Chelsea's Champions League final against Bayern Munich at the German club's Allianz Arena on May 19.
“I'm not going to change my mind on what I've said. We've just got to take - the cliched - one game at a time. That's honestly the way that we've treated things,” Gourlay said Sunday.
“We've got three games left, we'll see how we finish. Hopefully, we can take this forward now to Munich and make us all proud and then we'll take things from there.”
While Gourlay was coy over former Chelsea midfielder di Matteo's long-term prospects, he was happy to salute the remarkable turnaround the former West Bromwich Albion manager has masterminded since replacing Villas-Boas two months ago.
“He's done very well since we brought him in as the interim manager and I think the players have responded particularly well as well, so there's been a good team effort,” Gourlay said.
“When you look back and where we've got to, I think we've come a long way.”
Gourlay also revealed Chelsea have not given up hope of persuading Wembley hero Didier Drogba to sign a new contract at Stamford Bridge.
Drogba, who made history against Liverpool by becoming the first man to score in four FA Cup finals, has yet to sign an extension to his current deal, which runs out at the end of the season.
Gourlay said: “We're always talking to Didier. He loves Chelsea and we love Didier and we'll continue to have the conversations and we'll see where that goes.”
Drogba, 34, has reportedly been demanding a two-year deal, but Gourlay added: “I don't want to go into contractual things. It's not right for me to do that.” – Sapa-AFP