Gianfranco Zola believes Maurizio Sarri ‘is the ideal coach for Roma’ after his experiences at Napoli, Chelsea and Juventus, but 'only the referee' saw Manchester United's penalty.
There are multiple reports that a deal has already been struck with Sarri, as Paulo Fonseca is on his way out after two years in the Capital.
A 6-2 first leg Europa League semi-final defeat to Manchester United on Thursday proved the final straw for Fonseca, although the decision to part with him had already been made.
“There is a difference between Italian and English football, but not to the level we saw on Thursday,” Zola told Sky Sport Italia.
“Roma put in a good first half performance, but then paid too heavy a price for some defensive errors. Manchester United, after Manchester City, are the team in England who attack the best. In fairness, only the referee thought that was a penalty for United and that was certainly a contributing factor.
“Italian football has certainly improved in recent years and many more teams try to reach a result via beautiful football, even those lower down the pecking order. I think in the long run this will prove to be an advantage for everyone.
“The Premier League has enormous resources, it’s the richest league in Europe and that is reflected on the field.”
Sarri won the Europa League at Chelsea and the Scudetto with Juventus, but has been on the sidelines for a year. Having worked with him at Stamford Bridge, how does Zola see Sarri at Roma?
“Sarri is certainly a great coach and could be perfect for Roma. It has to be said, his experiences at Napoli, Chelsea and Juve helped him to grow even more. If you ask me does Sarri have the right credentials for this role, the answer is obvious.”