It claims the Londoners are offering the outgoing Barcelona boss a salary of around €14m-a-year, dwarfing Jose Mourinho’s €10m-a-year Real Madrid earnings, with substantial funds available to raid his old club’s squad. But the 41-year-old is understood to remain firm in his conviction that he needs a break from football and is unlikely to be swayed in his decision.
However, Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich has made Guardiola his No 1 target and will not be put off despite Di Matteo steering the Blues to FA Cup Final success and a date with Bayern Munich in the Champions League Final on May 19.
The Italian also has a chance of ending the Premier League season with a top-four finish, yet if Abramovich is unsuccessful in his pursuit of Guardiola then he is understood to be ready to stick with Di Matteo at least until the Spaniard declares himself available.
It is not the first time Chelsea have tried to secure Guardiola’s services after having a formal offer rejected in 2011, but they could face competition from Milan as the race hots up for one of world football’s greatest coaches.