Chelsea are hoping Callum Hudson-Odoi can be persuaded to remain at the club amid mounting interest from Bayern Munich.
Goal revealed on Thursday that the talented teenager is now the subject of a £30 million ($37.5m) bid from the Bundesliga giants.
That is the third approach to have been received at Stamford Bridge and interest is expected to be maintained through to the summer window.
Chelsea are not about to bow to pressure when it comes to the 18-year-old forward they are still looking to tie to fresh terms, with Zola eager to see the youngster remain in west London.
The Blues legend, who is now assistant to Maurizio Sarri, told reporters of the speculation surrounding Hudson-Odoi’s future: “I know Bayern are interested in him, but we are as well.
“We have had a contract with him for a while and we will see what the player wants.
“He has not played what he wanted. I have told him it is not a waste of time, because you are pushed to do more and I hope he uses this time in a wise way. He will be a very good thing in football.
“I understand he has requests but I believe that he has a bright future.
“For 18 years old, he has a lot of potential. You have to understand the journey is not finished, he has to have a good attitude. It is not important he plays straight away, it is about developing. He has to keep an open mind to improve.
“I believe we can help him, develop him and I believe he has a future in this club.”
Hudson-Odoi has taken in six senior appearances this season, with a Premier League bow made off the bench during a Boxing Day clash with Watford.
He has opened his goal account, during a Europa League date with PAOK Salonika, and Chelsea supporters are hoping to see more of him.
Regular game time would help to convince a highly rated talent that he is in the right place for his ongoing development, but Zola has urged patience from all concerned.
Quizzed on the frustration being felt by fans and the player, the Italian added: “I understand that. We would be happy to see an academy player come through but it is not easy for anyone.
“He is still in a period that he is showing a lot of potential, but there are top players in front of him.
“It is about patience. He has a bright future with us, but he will have to learn sometimes.
“Now it is important to get better. Not about why he isn’t playing 20 games, he has to just get better.”