Zola to replace Sarri? Chelsea told to look closer to home for next boss

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Blues legend Dennis Wise would be disappointed to see one Italian move out of Stamford Bridge, but feels another could easily pick up the reins

Chelsea have been urged to consider appointing Gianfranco Zola as their next manager if Maurizio Sarri moves on, with Dennis Wise seeing no need to bring in another coach from elsewhere.

Speculation regarding a change in the dugout continues to rage at Stamford Bridge.

Goal has revealed that Sarri, after just one season in English football, is eager to return to his native Italy at Juventus.

The Serie A champions are in the market for a new boss after seeing Massimiliano Allegri depart.

Sarri is seen as an obvious choice, having led Chelsea to a top-four finish in the Premier League and Europa League glory despite enduring a difficult debut campaign in west London.

Several names are said to be in the frame should Sarri decide to move on.

Allegri is among those reported to be on the Blues’ shortlist, along with the likes of Ajax manager Erik ten Hag and Wolves boss Nuno.

Frank Lampard, as a club legend, has also been heavily linked with a return to familiar surroundings from a first coaching post at Derby.

Gianfranco Zola Chelsea

Wise, though, believes that Chelsea should be looking closer to home and to another iconic figure if the managerial baton is passed on again this summer.

He said in a recent Twitter post: “Will be disappointed if Sarri goes.

“Chelsea are back where they belong in the CL & he also won his first trophy.

“The perfect replacement is already there, in Gianfranco Zola, he knows the young & experienced players well, also gained so much experience over the last few years.”

Zola, who spent seven years with Chelsea in his playing days, returned to the club in 2018 to work alongside Sarri.

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He remains a hugely popular figure at Stamford Bridge and does boast prior experience of life in a top job.

The 52-year-old’s coaching career to date includes spells at West Ham, Watford, Cagliari, Al-Arabi and Birmingham.

He was once considered to be a Chelsea boss of the future, given his strong ties to the club, but limited success in the posts he has filled so far have led to him slipping down the pecking order.

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