- Chelsea have named former player Gianfranco Zola as Maurizio Sarri's assistant 15 years after he stopped playing for the club
- The Blues confirmed the deal via a picture of Zola sitting next to Sarri on board a jet ahead of Chelsea’s pre-season tour to Australia
- The Italian scored 80 times in 312 appearances as a Chelsea player, winning four trophies during his seven years spell at the club
Premier League side Chelsea have named former player Gianfranco Zola as Maurizio Sarri's assistant 15 years after he stopped playing for Stamford Bridge outfit, according to a UK Sun report.
Announcing the latest development, the Blues released a picture of Zola sitting next to Sarri on board a jet ahead of Chelsea’s pre-season tour to Australia.
Reacting on the appointment, the 52-year-old told the club’s official website that he will be giving his best to get the club where it rightly belongs.
"For me it is an amazing thing. I am very willing to work hard because it is going to be a difficult challenge but I am pleased to be here, and to work hard with Maurizio to be successful.
"It would be great to be successful with Maurizio and for the club and I will give my best, as I did in the past as a player, so I will give my best in my new position.
"I am very much looking forward to the challenge in general. I would love us to start well and we are all very excited to start this new adventure,” Zola stressed.
Interestingly, the Italian scored 80 times in 312 appearances as a Chelsea player, claiming four trophies during his seven years spell at the club.
Zola’s glorious day while at Chelsea remains his winning goal during the 1998-99 Cup Winners' Cup final against Bundesliga side Stuttgart that ensured the Premier League side claimed their second ever major European silverware.
Zola started his coaching career with Italy's Under-21 side before managing the likes of West Ham, Watford, Cagliari, Al-Arabi and Birmingham.
The Italian is now expected to work with Chelsea’s 25-man squad to Australia, which includes latest arrival £57.4m-rated midfielder Jorginho as well as the likes of Marcos Alonso, Cesc Fabregas, Pedro and Alvaro Morata.
Other established stars players Thibaut Courtois, Eden Hazard and Willian have been handed extended vacation after playing at the just concluded FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Speaking during his inaugural press conference on Wednesday,
Sarri admitted that his first duty since coming on board as the Blues head coach is to ensure that the club’s best legs remain at West London despite the club’s shoddy title defence last season.
“Well clearly we would always like to keep the strongest players, this is what any manager and club wants to do.
“We will have to see how the transfer market goes.
“But I want to clarify I feel I am more of a field manager, a pitch manager than a general manager.
“I think I am one of the few managers who is bored by the transfer market. I don’t want to talk about it, I am not that interested in it.
“I think our task as managers is about growing the players we have,” Sarri submitted.
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com previously had reported that Chelsea are switching attention to AC Milan’s shot-stopper Gigio Donnarumma as Liverpool look likely to win race to seal a move for Brazil’s Roma goalkeeper Alisson.
According to UK Sun report, Chelsea new manager Maurzio Sarri is using personal contact to persuade Alisson to opt for a move to West London over a move to Anfield.
However, Liverpool are getting closer to sealing a world record £66 million deal with Roma for the Brazilian top choice.
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