Conte as good as Mourinho or Guardiola, says Zola

The former Chelsea player believes the incoming coach will improve the Premier League side and insists he is on the same level as the ex-Blues boss and the Bayern Munich trainer

Gianfranco Zola believes incoming Chelsea coach Antonio Conte should be seen as being on the same level as Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola.

Conte took over Juventus after they had finished seventh in Serie A and led them to three consecutive league titles before leaving to take over the Italy national team.

The coach will step down from his national team role to take on the job at Stamford Bridge, currently held by interim manager Guus Hiddink, after the conclusion of Euro 2016.

And Zola believes his compatriot is a fantastic choice to replace Hiddink, insisting there is no greater trainer in the game at the moment.

"He's done so well in Italy that he has to be considered the same level as Guardiola and Mourinho," Zola, who made over 250 appearances for Chelsea between 1996 and 2003, told BBC .

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"He has not won as much internationally but he is a good coach with a strong personality. I'm sure he will bring a lot to Chelsea."

Zola admitted that his job in recruiting new players to Stamford Bridge might be harder without Champions League football.

"Antonio as a coach is very disciplined, he demands a lot from the side no matter who you are and also tactically he works a lot," he added.

"There might be a problem bringing big players because playing in the Champions League is a big issue, but that actually could be an advantage because there won't be as much pressure on him.

"He will do well with Chelsea, I am sure."