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Apr 27, 2012

Di Matteo evades Guardiola question

Roberto Di Matteo chose not to give a direct answer when asked about the prospect of Pep Guardiola coming to Chelsea in the near future, preferring to hail the achievements of the outgoing Barcelona boss.

• Guardiola leaves Barcelona
• UEFA upholds suspensions

Guardiola confirmed on Friday that he will leave the Camp Nou at the end of the season to "recharge the batteries", and stressed that he "will not go straight to coaching".

However, Chelsea have long been linked to the Spaniard, with owner Roman Abramovich reportedly ready to give Guardiola anything he wants in order to lure him to Stamford Bridge. That would mean the end of Di Matteo's managerial reign, but when asked if Guardiola's decision to quit was bad news for him, the Italian sidestepped the issue.

"He is a role model for every manager," Di Matteo replied. "What he has achieved in a short space of time, I'm not sure anybody can replicate it.

"He knows what he does - he's a fantastic man. He's had tremendous success, but he has decided what is best for his career and his family."

Pressed on the subject of his own future Di Matteo, whose contract only runs until the summer, said: "I'm still very happy to take this club until the end of the season and then the club will make a decision based on what's best for this club."

Di Matteo was also asked for his thoughts on the Champions League final, which will see Chelsea face Bayern Munich on the Germans' home ground. The Blues boss is disappointed suspended players Branislav Ivanovic, Ramires, Raul Meireles and John Terry cannot feature, but he stopped short of saying Bayern have an unfair advantage in front of their own fans.

"It's a shame that players from both teams are going to miss the final," Di Matteo said. "Everybody who likes football would have liked to see both teams have their best players available.

"Once you qualify for the final, you know you're going to face strong opposition. Bayern are a historic team, they have a big tradition and they'll be at their home ground. So it will be as difficult, if not more difficult, than Real Madrid. [But] It's a one-off game, we go in with the same chance."

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