Mid-Day Ticker: Di Matteo's fate up in the air, Barcelona defends Messi & more

Mid-Day Ticker: Di Matteo's fate up in the air, Barcelona defends Messi & more

Euro 2012

Mid-Day Ticker: Di Matteo's fate up in the air, Barcelona defends Messi & more

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Di Matteo (Getty)

If preparing to manage the Champions League final wasn't creating enough pressure for Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo, perhaps doing so with his job status up in the air will.

Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay has told the interim manager that no decision on his fate will be made until after the May 19 final against Bayern Munich. Since taking over for Andre Villas-Boas in March, Di Matteo has helped the club claim the FA Cup and make a remarkable Champions League run, knocking out defending champion Barcelona in the process.

"The club said from day one when he came in as interim manager that we would assess things at the end of the season," Gourlay said. "We have not changed our approach.

Here are some more stories to keep your Thursday rolling:

BARCELONA DEFENDS MESSI AGAINST RACISM CLAIMS

Barcelona has officially come to Lionel Messi's defense after the prolific forward was accused of making racist remarks by Dutch midfielder Royston Drenthe, who is on loan to Everton from Real Madrid.

"The player has always shown a maximum respect and sportsmanship towards his rivals, something which has been recognized by his fellow professionals many times, and we are sure that any accusations to the contrary are well wide of the mark," a club spokesman said. "His behavior throughout his career has always been exemplary."

ADVOCAAT NAMED PSV BOSS

PSV Eindhoven has signed Dick Advocaat to a one-year contract to helm the club once he leaves his post in charge of the Russia national team following Euro 2012.

The 64-year-old Dutchman led the club from 1995 to 1998, winning the league in 1997 and Dutch Cup in 1996. PSV missed out on a Champions League berth this past season after finishing third in the Eredivisie.

BILIC TO LEAVE CROATIA JOB

Slaven Bilic, who has lead the Croatia national team since 2006, will step down from his post after Euro 2012 this summer. Croatia has been drawn into a brutal group for the opening round of the tournament, during which it will face Spain, Italy and Ireland.

''This is my last championship in charge,'' Bilic said. ''I leave a great team that has spent five years in the top 10, a squad that has been rejuvenated and one that could last for a long time."

ARSENAL NO. 2 RICE TO RETIRE

After four decades with the club, Arsenal assistant Pat Rice is stepping away from the game at season's end. Youth coach Steve Bould, a former Arsenal defender, will take over his position.

Arsene Wenger's long-serving No. 2, Rice first joined the club as a youth player in 1964 before ultimately making 528 senior appearances. Rice then became a youth coach with the Gunners in 1984 before being elevated to his current post in 1996.

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Should Chelsea keep Di Matteo as manager regardless of what happens in the Champions League final? What do you think of Barcelona defending Messi against Drenthe's racism accusations? Is Advocaat the right man to lead PSV Eindhoven?

Share your thoughts below.

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