Chelsea are reportedly considering placing Maurizio Sarri’s assistant Gianfranco Zola in caretaker charge for the rest of the season.
According to Sport Mediaset, former Napoli boss Sarri is ‘in limbo’ after Sunday’s 6-0 defeat to Manchester City and is waiting for owner Roman Abramovich to make a decision on his future.
The broadcaster goes on to say Zola could steady the ship until the end of the season before a ‘big name’ is appointed, similar to how Manchester United brought back old fans’ favourite Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Roberto Di Matteo was the last Italian ex-Blues star to take the reins on an interim basis, famously guiding the Stamford Bridge club to a historic Champions League triumph in 2012.
Sarri replaced Antonio Conte last summer and initially took Chelsea on an 18-match unbeaten run, but they have lost seven of their last 21 games, amidst mounting criticism of his playing style.
Zola, for his part, was voted Chelsea’s greatest-ever player in 2003, led Watford to the Championship playoffs in 2012-13 and kept West Ham United in the Premier League for two seasons.
However, he went on to be sacked by both Al-Arabi and Cagliari, while he resigned from Birmingham City after just two wins during his 24-game tenure.