Appointing the former Baggies boss could be a good omen for Villa.
Roberto Di Matteo in his Schalke days
Roberto Di Matteo is edging closer to the Aston Villa job, according to reports on Friday.
Could the Italian replicate his successful 2009-10 campaign at Villa Park? Here are three members of that side he could turn to in a bid to do exactly that...
Norwich City's Graham Dorrans and Manchester City's Bacary Sagna
It was under Di Matteo that Dorrans initially broke into the Baggies side, going on to score 13 goals from midfield (18 in all comps) to fire them to promotion. Though the 29-year-old has never quite matched those heights, he's spent five of the last six seasons playing regularly in the Premier League. Now on the books of Norwich City, who were relegated alongside the Villans, he has been linked with Burnley, Middlesbrough and Rangers of late.
Norwich's Youssuf Mulumbu in action against Chelsea's Pedro
Signed on a permanent basis in the summer of Di Matteo's arrival, Mulumbu was another key member of the Baggies' promotion team, though for slightly different reasons to his aforementioned midfield partner. The more defensive-minded player, also now of Norwich, brought tenacity to the Italian's engine room and could be the ideal replacement for Idrissa Gana Gueye, who is said to be interesting other clubs.
Bristol City's Korey Smith in action against Walsall's Romaine Sawyers (L)
Sawyers, who'd appeared as an unused substitute in 2008-09, was barely able to drive at the time of Di Matteo's appointment, and was sidelined for much of the 45-year-old's first season at The Hawthorns. The following season, he was farmed out to Port Vale on loan, while his return coincided with Di Matteo being shown the door. The attacking midfielder left for the third tier with Walsall in 2013 but has since established himself as one of the division's best players and is said to be in high demand with his contract expiring next month.