“The club will be making an announcement shortly regarding a new first team manager,” a statement from the west London club said.

A full statement from the club was followed shortly afterwards, saying “The team’s recent performances and results have not been good enough and the owner and the Board felt that a change was necessary now to keep the club moving in the right direction as we head into a vitally important part of the season.”

Chelsea now risk becoming the first team to be holders of the Champions League but to fail to make it out of the group stages the following year.

Di Matteo was thrust in to the spotlight last season after the departure of Andre Villas Boas when he became caretaker manager. Despite winning the Champions League and FA Cup though, he has found himself feeling the brunt of owner Roman Abramovich’s wrath. 

Chelsea currently sit third in the Premier League but have endured a poor run of form that has seen them win two of their last eight games.

Former Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez is mooted as a short-term stand-in.

Photo: Getty.