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Reports: Schalke part ways with Di Matteo

The marriage of Royal Blue and Roberto Di Matteo has been a short one. A number of German newspapers reported Sunday evening that Schalke and the Italian coach have severed their relationship.

The news that Roberto Di Matteo was out at Schalke was broken late Sunday afternoon by Germany's "SportBild" magazine and indepedently confirmed by the respected "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung" as well as the football magazine "kicker."

The club weren't confirming or denying that news on Sunday, nor of course, was there any word about a potential successor.

The Italian coach, who won the Champions League with English side Chelsea in 2012, took over from Jens Keller at Schalke on October 7, 2014. But the Royal Blues' drive for the Champions League places stalled under his tutelage, and he was unpopular with many fans for what they saw as his unattractive, defense-oriented style of play.

Supporters went so far as to turn their back on the team at their final home match of the season one week ago. And calls for Di Matteo to go intensified after a completely anemic performance on the last day of the season against strugglers Hamburg.

"You have to ask questions about everyone in a position of sporting responsibility, be they players, coaches or management," commercial manager Horst Heldt told TV reporters after Schalke's 2-0 loss to Hamburg on Saturday.

The Royal Blues finished the season a disappointing sixth.

jc/apc (SID, dpa)

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