Gelsenkirchen - FC Schalke 04 have parted ways with head coach Jens Keller and appointed Roberto Di Matteo as his successor on a contract valid until 30 June 2017.
'Lacking the consistency necessary'
Keller took charge of first team affairs at the Royal Blues in December 2012 but has paid the price for the club's poor start to the season, with his assistant Peter Hermann and goalkeeping coach Holger Gehrke also leaving their posts.
Schalke have won just two of their first seven Bundesliga matches in 2014/15 and lie in 11th place in the standings. They are without a win in two UEFA Champions League outings this term and also crashed out of the DFB Cup in the first round. "The team's performances have fluctuated greatly in the last few weeks," said sporting director Horst Heldt on the club's official website. "We're lacking the consistency necessary to achieve our sporting objectives which is why we've decided to take this step. We shouldn't forget that Jens Keller has done good work over the last 22 months [...] and Schalke thank him for that."
Champions League winner
Di Matteo, who speaks fluent German, won the Champions League title in 2012 while coach of Chelsea, famously defeating FC Bayern München at the Allianz Arena. However, since his dismissal on 21 November 2012 he has not coached at another club until now. Schalke confirmed the managerial change in a brief post on their official Twitter account on Tuesday morning: