• Premier League

Zola not ruling out Chelsea return

ESPN staff
March 1, 2013
Free swing: Gianfranco Zola could be tempted to head back to Chelsea © Getty Images

Gianfranco Zola has hinted he could be tempted by a return to Chelsea as manager at some stage in the future.

Zola is a Chelsea legend on account of his seven years at the club as a player and he is now making his way in management at Watford.

The manager's job at Chelsea is a hot topic of debate, following Rafael Benitez's press conference on Wednesday when he confirmed he will leave the club in the summer.

There are many who feel Benitez will leave Stamford Bridge before the end of the season, with some bookmakers opening a market on his successor.

Jose Mourinho is favourite in the lists, but Zola's name has also been connected with the job. The Italian says he is happy at Watford, but said "you never know" when asked about a return to Chelsea.

And importantly, It would appear Zola still has a good relationship with Blues owner Roman Abramovich. "He really valued me and tried to bring me back, but I was tied up," Zola told the Daily Star. "He always had, I believe, a high value in myself.

"So you never know."

And when asked if Chelsea had tried to bring him into their coaching set-up, Zola said: "There has always been an interest from them. We didn't work it out, but we have a high respect and appreciation for each other."

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