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Zola plays down Chelsea job links

Watford boss Gianfranco Zola claims he has not been approached by Chelsea as rumours grow that the Italian is being lined up to become the new manager of the Blues.

Zola is a fans' favourite from his time at Stamford Bridge as a player, and has impressed in charge of Watford as he has led them to third in the Championship. However, despite the fact that interim manager Rafael Benitez will be leaving Chelsea this summer, Zola is focused only on his future at the Hornets for now.

"No-one from Chelsea has spoken to me," he told the Mail on Sunday. "I am respectful for what Watford have done for me and I am focusing on getting the job done here.

"I really don't know what is around the corner for me, but whatever happens to me is all down to this experience because I have to prove myself as a manager. I am enjoying what we doing at Watford, enjoying and learning."

Promotion-chasing Watford will be keen to keep their key men this summer if they make the leap up to the Premier League, but they have courted controversy with the number of loan signings from Udinese [a club owned by Watford owners the Pozzo family as well as Spanish football club Granada].

Possible sanctions from the Football League regarding their transfer activity could hamper their plans, but Zola is confident that Watford will be able to continue their improvement.

"The Pozzo family have ambitious ideas for this club," he added. "I don't think this will be seen as a club where players are in transit, and we will try to keep the ones from Udinese that we believe are good enough to stay if they want to stay. Hopefully there is a solution to the embargo, too."

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