Gianfranco Zola thinks Chelsea are working on getting Maurizio Sarri in for next season, but appears to know very little else beyond that. Or at least he wasn’t saying anything more when Sky Italia’s microphones were thrust in his face today.
“There’s a lot of talk about it, there are a lot of teams that would like a coach like Sarri, Chelsea is interested right now, we’ll see, I think the parties are working on it.”
That we’re four days before the start of preseason and the best that anyone can do is “we’ll see” and “I think they’re working on it” is pretty hilarious, even if we account for the usual veil of secrecy that for some reason must always be necessary in transfer negotiations.
Zola himself has been strongly rumored to be (re-)joining Chelsea alongside Sarri, either as a director or a coach or something in-between the two roles, helping to facilitate the new head coach’s acclimatization to England and this circus-show we like to call Chelsea Football Club. It’s unclear if Zola’s future still lies back at Stamford Bridge or what may be next for the Chelsea legend now that his World Cup punditry gig on South African television is done.
For what it’s worth, while Zola has always been a big fan of Conte, he appears to be an even bigger fan of Sarri.
“The first time I got interested in Sarri in a serious way was during my first experience at Cagliari. I liked his Empoli because he had a different attitude for a team that was battling relegation, a more big team attitude, always proactive.
“After going to Naples, his quality, his skill has become even more evident. He’s a coach I like a lot because he’s always proactive, he’s good. The results are clear: one who loves football cannot but admire the way of playing in Naples in these years.
“It must be said that Conte has done a great job. If Sarri went to Chelsea, I hope he was allowed to do his job — work, planning, constant improvement [...] it’s a different challenge but with so many advantages I’m sure he will do a great job.”
-Gianfranco Zola; source: Sky Italia via CM (Google Translated)
Just have to sort out that pesky little thing called a contract first.