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The 46-year-old claims he is still in regular contact with many people at Stamford Bridge, but remains fully focused on trying to get Watford promoted from the Championship

Watford boss Gianfranco Zola has claimed that Chelsea view him as a long-term target to become manager at Stamford Bridge.

The 46-year-old spent seven years with the Blues as a player and was voted as the greatest ever to turn out for the west London outfit.

Zola has led Watford to second place in the Championship this season and, although he is committed to the Hornets, he claims there is strong interest in him from Chelsea supremo Roman Abramovich.

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“There has always been an­ ­interest from them,” he told reporters. “We didn’t work it out but we have a high respect and appreciation for each other.

“Obviously, I am a legend over there – I’m aware that people value me very much as much as I value them but what is going to happen in the future I don’t know.

“One thing for sure is I love what I am ­doing at Watford. I love this club and the supporters and everybody.

“Now I want to give them a huge ­contribution and then we’ll see. A lot of what happens in the future depends on the ­contribution I will be able to give to them.

“That is what I am focused on. I need to prove myself over here first.

“I am still in contact at Chelsea with Frank [Lampard] and John [Terry], and also in touch with [player liaison ­officer] Gary Staker, who is my brother and dad at the same time.

“He looked after me and my family when I arrived and has been a great man.”

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