Zola has had no contact with Chelsea

The Italian coach has put the Championship club in contention for promotion but says he is yet to hear anything regarding the soon-to-be-vacant Stamford Bridge post

Watford manager Gianfranco Zola says he has received no contact from Chelsea over the soon-to-be vacant manager’s job at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues’ interim boss Rafa Benitez will leave the club at the end of the season, and a host of former Chelsea favourites including Gus Poyet, Didier Deschamps and Zola have all been linked with the post.

The Italian has guided Watford into contention for promotion from the Championship in his debut season at Vicarage Road, sparking suggestions the Blues may make an approach for the 46-year-old.

“No one from Chelsea has spoken to me,” Zola told the Daily Mail. “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 are doing at Watford.”

Zola left Chelsea shortly before Roman Abramovich’s takeover of the club in 2003 having scored 59 goals and established himself as one of the most popular players in the west London side’s history.

And the Russian tycoon attempted to bring him back to the Premier League only to be turned down as Zola sought more coaching experience.

“Mr Abramovich asked me to be part of Chelsea again but, at that moment, I didn’t even consider going into management as I didn’t think I had the necessary qualities,” he added.

“Mr Abramovich brought a lot of resources, and very good players came in and the club became one of the most successful in Europe. All I can say is the club deserve it. The way they treated me, and all the others, was special.”

Szczesny wants Arsenal stay

The Poland international has fallen out of favour at the Emirates Stadium after a run of indifferent form, but insists he has no intention of leaving the Gunners

Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny says he has no intention of quitting the Emirates Stadium after falling out of first-team favour in recent weeks.

Lukasz Fabianski has been preferred to his fellow Poland international for the recent matches against Bayern Munich and Swansea.

Szczesny has also been forced into making a public apology to the club after his father launched a stinging attack on manager Arsene Wenger, blaming the Frenchman for his son’s dip in form.

Yet despite all the recent turmoil, the 22-year-old is adamant that he will be staying at the club for the foreseeable future.

“I don’t want to be anywhere else,” he told Polish newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza. “My contract runs out in 2015. I have played my 100th game for Arsenal and I hope to play hundreds more.

“Physically, I can imagine myself at a different club, yes, but mentally, absolutely no. I’m too happy here.

“What guarantee do I have that I will win trophies somewhere else? Arsenal will win things again, I trust the club’s philosophy, I have a debt here.”

After disappointing defeats in the domestic cup competitions to lower-league opposition and an away goals exit to Bayern Munich in the Champions League, Arsenal will once again end a season without a trophy – a run that has now extended to eight campaigns.

Szczesny admits that the Gunners have endured a disappointing year, but issued a rallying call to his team-mates to pull together and ensure they finish 2012-13 on a high by securing a place in the top four.

“I know that Arsenal should not play as badly,” he conceded. “We’re not even through March and we have lost everything. We have only nine games to save the club and not humiliate ourselves.

“Arsenal have been in the Champions League for the past 16 years and it would be horrible not to qualify this time. Those are our most important games in our careers. It’s our hardest time since I got here.”

Oenning discourages Gundogan from Barcelona move

The starlet’s former coach has recommended he stays put in Dortmund for the time being, claiming a Primera Liga move could be adverse to his career

Former Nuremburg coach Michael Oenning has advised Borussia Dortmund sensation Ilkay Gundogan to stay put for the forseeable future, as rumours of a transfer to Spain circulate.

Gundogan has been linked to Barcelona and Real Madrid of late, but Oenning – who oversaw the Germany international’s development from 2009 to 2011 – believes a move to either of the Spanish powerhouses could only prove detrimental.

“In my eyes, a switch to Barcelona would come too early for him,” the 47-year-old remarked to Bild. “He is barely 22. He can think about such a move again when he is 25 or 26.

“What is to come of him at Barca? The guys at Borussia really should light a candle everyday. There can be nothing better for this club than to play under [coach] Jurgen Klopp.”

The midfielder has established himself as a mainstay for the German champions since his €5.5 million move to Signal Iduna Park, but Oenning claims he has not been surprised at the promise displayed by his former player.

“I told Ilkay after our first training session together that he would develop into a great potential,” he revealed. “He just looked wide-eyed back at me.

“The boy has everything, and is far from being at the end of his development at 22.”

Manchester United midfielder Anderson pushing for summer exit

The Brazilian is concerned about his lack of first-team opportunities and believes a move away from Old Trafford will enhance his chances of featuring in the 2014 World Cup

By Paul Clennam

Manchester United midfielder Anderson wants to leave the club at the end of the season due to fears that a lack of first-team football will put paid to his chances of playing for Brazil at the 2014 World Cup, Goal.com understands.

A number of South American clubs are interested in signing the 24-year-old, while Porto are also hoping to bring him back to the Estadio do Dragao on a loan deal.

United could even use Anderson as a makeweight in any potential move for Porto’s highly-rated Colombian attacker James Rodriguez.

“Anderson is desperate to play for Brazil in 2014 and knows he needs some regular match time,” a source close to the club told Goal.com

“Sir Alex can’t offer him the first-team football that he wants.”
The Red Devils value the midfielder at between €18 million and €24m and would welcome a permanent sale, but do not envisage any of the interested parties being able to come up with the full amount.

A number of Brazilian clubs have used third-party sponsors to fund the signings of big-name players in recent years, most notably when Flamengo captured Ronaldinho from AC Milan in 2011.

But if that scenario does not materialise, United see a loan move back to Porto as the ideal situation for both club and player.

De Guzman hopes to stay at Swansea

The midfielder made his first competitive appearance for the Netherlands on Friday night and believes that stability at club level will be key to his future selection

Jonathan de Guzman has stated his desire to remain at Swansea City and maintain his place in the Netherlands set-up.

The 25 year-old is on a season-long loan from Villarreal and made his debut for the Oranje against Italy in a friendly last month.

The attacking midfield player revealed that he had made the decision not to join his older brother Julian in playing for Canada and hopes to keep his place in Louis van Gaal’s thoughts by securing regular football permanently at the Liberty Stadium.

“My brother Julian put some pressure on me and stated that he would love to play with me,” De Guzman told reporters. “But for me it was always clear that I would choose the Netherlands.

“The Oranje is world class and, if you want to battle in a big tournament, that is only possible with the Netherlands.

“Due to my foot injury, and the many changes of clubs, I was off the radar. But it was worth waiting for.

“I don’t want to wander again. I hope I can bind myself for a couple of seasons at one place and, if it’s up to me, that would be at Swansea.”