By Harry Sykes
Aston Villa are confident of appointing Roberto Di Matteo as their new manager despite reports Tony Xia’s takeover will be rejected by league chiefs.
Sky Sports claim Di Matteo is set to be announced as the Midlands clubs’ new boss in the next 48 hours.
It is said that proposed new owner Xia has been impressed with Di Matteo’s managerial record and his plans for the Villa squad.
This comes after the Daily Mail reported on Wednesday that Villa are set for the shattering news that the Premier League and Football League have turned down the takeover by Xia’s Chinese consortium on the grounds that they do not have the funds in place.
It is said that American Randy Lerner, who is trying to offload the club at a knockdown price, has already been told that Xia will not pass the necessary financial tests.
It was initially thought that the takeover could be completed in the coming days but that has now been thrown into jeopardy.
Xia’s team of board members must also pass the Owners and Directors’ Test before an official changing of hands is confirmed.
The joint investigation into the exact make-up of his conglomerate, Recon Group, has taken longer than expected as thorough checks are made. Despite their relegation from the top flight, Villa remain a Premier League club until 8 June so representatives from both leagues are working together.
The latest Aston Villa news comes after Xia claimed he had £100million sat in a bank account and at least £50million ready to spend on new players.
Di Matteo was in Rome on Saturday to hold talks with Lazio over replacing Simone Inzaghi but he now appears set to be installed at a Championship club despite question marks over the takeover.
The former Chelsea manager, who stepped down at Schalke a year ago after a seven-month spell at the German outfit has reportedly been at the top of Villa’s wish-list ever since the proposed takeover, with Xia looking to make a marquee appointment to replace Remi Garde.
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.
In other Aston Villa news, the club are gearing up for the biggest summer transfer spend in their history.