Genoa Chelsea boost in Piate chase, Zola prank call and Mourinho ‘to be his best’ ahead of Man United
Chelsea legend Gianfranco Zola admits he thought it was a prank call from Maurizio Sarri to offer him the job as Coach.
After months of speculation, Chelsea finally convinced Napoli to let Sarri depart the club for a small fee and immediately replaced Antonio Conte with the chain-smoking Italian, who was Roman Abramovic’c top target after making the Seria A giants one of the most attractive sides in Europe.
And Sarri got straight on the phone to Zola, who was a cult hero in west London as a player, helping the club to win multiple cup competitions and wowing the locals with some exceptional moments of brilliance.
Zola admitted he couldn’t believe Sarri wanted his services at Chelsea, telling Sky Sports: “I thought it was a prank call! I was surprised, I didn’t expect that. He told me there was a possibility if I was interested and I said: ‘yes I’m coming!’ It was a big surprise. We had only spoken on the phone a couple of times and had met him briefly when interviewing him for Sky Italia, but we never spoke about football or anything outside of that.
“It’s amazing for me to come back. It’s been a blessing. I didn’t expect to be back working for this club again, especially with a coach who I like very much. It’s great for me – there’s lots of work to do though.”
Meanwhile, Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has told Chelsea fans that he will be on his best behaviour should his Red Devils side score at Stamford Bridge this weekend.
After a disappointing start to the new season, United are hoping to turn their year around and get back on track in the chase for a Premier League title when they play Chelsea on Saturday, with the Blues looking dominant and one of the favourites to take the title from Manchester City.
Mourinho spent five years at Chelsea over two spells – winning three Premier League titles and an FA Cup – but has admitted that he will put any loyalties to Chelsea to one side as he will be 100 per cent focused on United.
He was quoted on the Sky Sports website: “For me it’s another game. Would I celebrate like crazy my team’s goal or victory at Stamford Bridge? I don’t think so. I think I will try always to control myself and to respect the stadium and supporters that were my supporters and my stadium for many years. To do that I would have to lose my emotional control, which is not easy.
“I think I would always think where I am, which stadium I’m in and which public is in the stands. Apart from that, it’s just another match for me. A match I want to do well in for my players, my team and my supporters, that’s what I want.”
And finally, Genoa have rejected an enquiry from Napoli for Chelsea target Krzysztof Piatek.
The highly-rated 23-year old forward has come to attentions of Sarri over the last few months after impressing on a number of occasions for Genoa, especially with his start to the new Seria A season this time around, netting thirteen goals in just eight games.
It is believed Sarri is desperate to add a striker in the January window and feels the £40 million price tag on the head of Piatek is an opportunity he simply cannot turn down, especially since his other targets will cost almost double what Genoa want.
And they have been given a huge boost in their pursuit, as according to the TalkSport website, rivals Napoli have had their offer for Piatek rejected by Genoa as the Italian side have no intention of discussing a transfer deal just yet.