Former Roma manager wanted by Watford - report

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Zdenek Zeman could be set to return to coaching with Championship side Watford, according to a report.

Zdenek Zeman could be set to return to coaching with Championship side Watford, over a year since being sacked by Roma.

The 66-year old Czech has experienced a well-travelled career, managing a number of clubs in Italy, as well as Crvena Zvezda in Serbia and Fenerbahce in Turkey, and his high-octane style of play has been admired by the Pozzo family - owners of Udinese, Granada and Watford.

Zeman was a reported target for Udinese in 2005 following the departure of Luciano Spalletti to his future employers Roma, and the Pozzos are once again inclined to recruit him, although England is the potential destination this time.

Goal.com has reported that Watford sporting director Gianluca Nani made contact with Zeman following the departure of Gianfranco Zola in December, and that he has secured first refusal on the Czech's services. Rather than entering midway through the season, Zeman preferred to stay away, fearing that his methods would upset the mentality of the squad.

Former Chievo Verona coach Guiseppe 'Beppe' Sannino took the reigns on a temporary basis, and, although a record-making start to his career suggested a permanent role could be imminent, a disastrous run of form as the season drew to a close - four consecutive losses, including a 4-1 final day home defeat to Huddersfield Town - has called into question both his coaching abilities and his control of the players.

The Watford Observer reported a row between the players and the management staff prior to the Huddersfield game, and alleged that various players rebelled against Sannino's methods. These reports do not bode well for the continuation of Sannino's career at Vicarage Road, and many will express surprise if the Italian is still in his role come July.

Unlike Sannino - who came to Watford as an almost unknown - Zeman has prior experience with a selection of the Italians who comprise the Hornets' first-team squad. Fan favourite Marco Cassetti played under Zeman at Roma, and, although many believe that he will retire in the summer, the Czech could convince the ageing Italian to stay and join his coaching staff. Fernando Forestieri and Alexander Merkel are also said to be held in high esteem by Zeman, and his favoured 4-3-3 totaalvoetbal system may be the perfect foil to express their true talent.

Now that the season has finished, Nani must be doing all that he can to secure Zeman's services early, giving the coach a full pre-season to impose his vision upon the Hertfordshire-based club.

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