Until rumors to the contrary surfaced earlier today, it appeared that the next few days will see Roberto Di Matteo appointed as the new first team coach at Chelsea on a 1 year contract. There doesn't seem to be any dispute about Di Matteo's return though, so we can safely assume that part is true. This should put to bed any concern that we're not actually going to hire a manager and allow us to focus 100% on incoming and outgoing players. Many have complained that no moves should have been made without a manager in place anyway, but now that there appears to be an answer in that department it's interesting to look at what role exactly he should play in that department going forward.
I know many of us have very different viewpoints on what the manager's role in transfer business should be. I'm of the opinion that he should have as minimal a role as possible. I feel like his input should go no further than identifying areas of need, allowing Emenalo and the scouting staff to be the ones to identify the specific talent. In my opinion the coach should be able to modify his system slightly to fit the specific strengths of the players he's given, as it's increasingly rare in the world of top level club football for a manager to stay for over 4 seasons anyway.
Assuming for the moment that Di Matteo is working on a one year deal, it should somewhat force Chelsea to take this exact approach. It's hard to picture the club handing over the power to add multiple players on 4-5 year deals to a manager they are only guaranteeing a single year to. It's fairly obvious to all of us the strengths and weaknesses that the club has, and I'm sure a guy as seemingly intelligent as Michael Emenalo has not missed this.
There is also a bit of a bonus in Di Matteo's lack of big club managerial experience prior to last spring. It's unlikely at best that he'll be pushing to sign any of his former MK Dons or WBA players, as I doubt there's a single one that he'd view as an essential piece here at Chelsea. We know that AVB pushed for several guys that he had worked with before upon taking the job, and many of us felt that guys like Moutinho and Pereira would have been less than fantastic purchases anyway (and Raul Meireles was certainly an iffy buy at best).
In the end, I'd be ecstatic if Di Matteo was indeed handed a single year deal. That would almost certainly lead to Michael Emenalo continuing to handle all of the transfer business this summer. With a rebuild in order, it's nice to know that the man making the final decision is not working on a one or two year deal. It's probably even more promising in Chelsea's case, as it doesn't seem to matter how long a manager is under contract for in deciding whether or not to keep him around. Hopefully this means that we continue to see Chelsea pressing for younger players with world class upside, as I've been more than satisfied with the work done by Emenalo so far.