Chelsea legend linked with West London return - as Fulham manager

Fulham Turnstiles

Former Chelsea striker Gianfranco Zola is reportedly in the frame to replace Felix Magath as Fulham's new manager.

Fulham's last 14 months have been arguably the most eventful in the club's history. Firstly, long-time owner Mohamed Al Fayed sold the club to Shahid Khan, an American businessman famed for having purchased NFL franchise the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2011.

Manager Martin Jol lasted only until December last season before Khan sacked the former Tottenham boss, whilst his replacement - compatriot Rene Meulensteen - made it only two months in the hotseat before being replaced by former Bayern Munich manager Felix Magath.

The German couldn't keep Fulham in the top flight though, and the Cottagers were back in the second tier for the first time since earning promotion in 2001. And despite spending £11m on Leeds United striker Ross McCormack, Fulham's start to the season has been woeful. After just one point from seven games, Magath was sacked with Fulham bottom of the Championship table - meaning Khan was on the lookout for a new manager once again after his third sacking.

The current favourite for the job is caretaker manager Kit Symons, but former Fulham boss Jean Tigana has reportedly thrown his hat into the ring in a bid to return to Craven Cottage. Both could be disappointed in their pursuit of the job though, as Gianfranco Zola is reportedly high on Fulham's managerial wish list.

Zola, 48, was a Chelsea hero having hit 59 goals in 229 for the Blues over an almost seven year spell at Stamford Bridge, and took his first steps into management when he became West Ham boss in 2008. Yet after winning just 23 games out of a possible 80, Zola was sacked - and was out of the game for two years before returning to management with Watford.

Zola enjoyed a successful stint at Vicarage Road, taking the Hornets to the Championship play off final in his first season in charge, only to lose to Crystal Palace in extra time. His second season didn't quite go as smoothly though, and after five successive defeats, Zola tendered his resignation in December 2013 and has been out of work ever since.

The Italian has had an up-and-down career so far, and after so much instability in the Fulham dugout under Khan, Zola may not be the best candidate available.

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