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Your Verdict: Zola departure

Gianfranco Zola has left Chelsea after seven years with the London club and the Premiership will miss his dazzling skills and impeccable behaviour on and off the pitch.

The Blues failed to come up with an acceptable new contract and the pint-sized 37-year-old is off to Cagliari to honour an agreement to see out his career at his home town club in Sardinia.

The Stamford Bridge fans' favourite had become disillusioned with delay over a possible 12-month contract extension and eventually rejected an 11th hour offer of an increased pay-packet from Chelsea.

Zola disclosed he would have taken up the offer had it come before his contract expired on July 1 - when he committed to join Serie B Cagliari.


  • Kewell transfer set to go ahead
  • Anderton could return to Portsmouth
  • Graille: Ron would reject Chelsea
  • Gold delighted with capture of Dunn

    Your Verdict:

    So arguably the best player in the Premier League has retained his home in England even though he is playing in Sardinia.

    Hopefully Chelsea will ask Zola to head their academy of excellence when he finally hangs up his boots. I cannot think of a better and more fitting man for this role and he will attract the pick of the crop into Chelsea's fold.

    Bob Taylor, London

    So much for footballers being greedy, self-centered, egotistical cry babies (did I mention Ronaldo?) Here is a man (Zola) who expects to deal squarely with his employer and backs it up with his actions. Hats off to this person who actually keeps his word!


    I am very disappointed to see Zola go. I will miss him and his sublime skills at Chelsea. He was an important team player, definitely much better than that Jimmy fellow who only plays for money, money and more money.

    Chelsea will definitely feel the loss of Zola and regret not signing him. And the fact he opted to go to a lower division club speaks volumes of his character.

    Lulu Tang

    Zola's departure is a mixed blessing. Its sad to see him go after so many years at Chelsea, but on the other hand it clears up a striker spot for potential signings such as Thierry Henry, Andriy Shevchenko and Rivaldo to go along side Eidur Gudjohnsen and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink.

    So in my view the needs of the Chelsea fans outweighs the needs of Zola.

    Troy Mildura, Australia

    I am filled with sadness at the prospect of visiting the Bridge next season without Zola gracing the playing surface. I shall enjoy telling my boys when they are older that I was there when he scored that sublime back heel.

    However, every era ending heralds a new one, and perhaps it is time for the likes of Cole, Forssell and Gudjohnsen to show the full extent of their talents. I for one hope the new cash gets spent on the midfield and not on replacing the irreplaceable Zola.

    Eric Moose, Sussex

    Reading this story further underlines how different Zola is.....A man with character, principles and vision, a refreshing contrast to the mercenary attitude that seems prevalent in most football quarters.

    As a long-term Chelsea supporter he will always have my respect and from a purely selfish viewpoint I would love to see him back at the Bridge in another capacity later - character and principles are a great base for a management career.

    David Thomason, Melbourne, Australia

    Zola is unique in English football, for his abilities on and off the pitch. I find it hard to understand why the Chelsea board didn't tie up his contract extension months ago, or why they tried and get him on the cheap because of his age.

    I blame Trevor Birch, the new Chief Executive. His predecessor Colin Hutchinson would never have allowed Zola to go. From a personal point of view Stamford Bridge will never feel quite the same again, and I feel like I've lost a friend.

    Paul Stevens

  • Meanwhile, Blackburn have sold David Dunn to Birmingham - and look like swooping for Socceroo star Brett Emerton...

    Graeme Souness has done well for himself. Though Dunn is excellent, Brett Emerton is certainly on the same level, only now Souness can pay for both Amoruso and Emerton from Dunn's fee.

    Since Dunn was unsettled at Blackburn anyway, keeping him would have been a move too stupid for someone with Souness' experience to make, and now he has quite a large amount of cash to spend in such a deflated transfer market.

    Given the choise of Amoruso and Emerton, or an unsettled David Dunn, Souness has done very well for himself. It's also refreshing to see him buy a young player like Emerton, rather than the older players whose best days are behind them (Cole, Yorke, Sukur to name the recent ones).

    Emerton is a good catch for Souness, and will prove his talent next year, when Blackburn make a challenge for a champions league place.

    Jonathan Michel, Sydney, Australia

    I think that David Dunn will be a great addition for Birmingham as he is very talented and more quality will be added in the midfield area. The midfield trio of Dunn, Cisse and Savage could be very exciting.

    He certainly joined the right club, with Steve Bruce in charge and with players of Dugarry's and Upson's calibre, and of Dunn's talent they should have an outside chance to reach Europe by finishing in the top six.

    Raymond Bejjani

    They [Birmingham] will be relegated this season. I believe he moved for financial gain only and not to further his career.

    The Rovers will manage very well without him. We are in a strong financial position to buy a replacement, if necessary, and it is very much a buyers market currently, so we are in a very good position, however you look at it.

    Iain Walsh

  • Also, Portsmouth are looking at the possibility of signing former Pompey player Darren Anderton from Spurs.......

    Redknapp must be off his rocker, he's already got one of the oldest squads in the league now he's looking to add the invalids. Maybe he should try and sign a few Chelsea pensioners and change their nickname from 'Pompey' to 'Grampy'.

    Eddie Appleby

    Anderton is not an adequate replacement for Merson and this is coming from a Spurs fan. However, I do want rid of him so hopefully he will go to Pompey!

    Hamadi Mwapachu

  • And finally, Harry Kewell's on/off transfer to from Liverpool to Leeds.....

    It is about time Liverpool signed a player who can realistically boost their chances of garnering more honors in the upcoming season. It is ridiculous that Liverpool, a wealthy club (as suggested by their lavish albeit ineffectual spending) has not been able to compete with the likes of Man Utd and other top European clubs for the signatures of top talent.

    While Man U signs Rio Ferdinand, Liverpool signs Diouf and Diao, not exactly the same thing. Kewell is a definitely a step in the right direction befitting a club of such great stature.

    Lermin Kwan

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