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Zola unfazed by Chelsea rumours

Watford boss Gianfranco Zola says he is paying minimal attention to reports linking him with a return to his old club Chelsea.

Rafa Benitez is the interim manager at Stamford Bridge but with sections of the club’s support unhappy with his employment, some reports have suggested that Zola, who spent seven seasons at Chelsea as a player, may soon be offered the job.

The Italian, whose Watford side currently occupy the final play-off spot ahead of their Championship clash with Huddersfield on Saturday, claimed any such speculation is not distracting him from his task of maintaining Watford’s good form.

“To be honest I am more focused on what I have to do here,” he told the BBC.

“I know people have been writing things but my mind is completely on this job. I want to do well until the end here.”

Zola expressed surprise at the recent decision of Pep Guardiola – who was also strongly rumoured to be targeted by the Chelsea job – to take over at Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich at the end of the season, but gave the Spaniard his backing.

“I was more willing to think Pep was going to England rather than Germany,” the 46-year-old said.

“I don’t know what the challenge will be like for Pep in Germany. I certainly wish him well.

“He’s a great manager, a great man. He’s got all my support.”

Sat 19 January, 2013
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