Former Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo has been named as the next FC Schalke manager in a move, which could have a knock on effect for his old club and their London rivals Arsenal.
The Italian has been out of work since he was sacked by the Blues after a difficult start to the new season after winning the Champions League for the Stamford Bridge outfit.
Schalke is an exciting job for the 44-year-old and he could have a big say in the futures of key first team players who have been linked with moves to Arsenal and Chelsea.
Arsenal’s obvious connection with the German side is Julian Draxler, a player they have been reportedly close to signing in the past, with a deal failing to come together due to complicated terms.
There are lingering reports that the Gunners are still interested in the 21-year-old even though he signed a new deal with Schalke as recently as in May of last year.
Arsenal could be affected because of their relationship to Di Matteo as a rival when he was in charge of Chelsea, which could have created a stubbornness within the Italian to do business with the North Londoners.
Chelsea’s interest in 19-year-old Max Meyer could also be affected by Di Matteo’s new role with the German side.
Some feel the Italian was harshly treated after his European Cup win with the Blues and not given a real chance to lead the side and he could well feel aggrieved by the circumstances which led to his sacking. However, he will have fond memories of his playing days at Stamford Bridge.
If that’s the case then it could be difficult for the Blues to move on any future deal for Meyer while Di Matteo is in charge because Schalke made a long term commitment when they offered him, and he signed, a new deal last November.
In short, it’s easy to see why Arsenal and Chelsea may miss out but one of Di Matteo’s positive characteristics was the way he always handled himself professionally and if he doesn’t bear a grudge in either case, some big money transfer deals are still possible.