Former Chelsea defender Graeme Le Saux says reports linking Gianfranco Zola with a return to Stamford Bridge as manager 'bring a smile' to his face, but hopes the Blues legend continues to make strides as Watford boss.

Zola has taken Watford to within four points of the automatic promotion places in the Championship during his first season at Vicarage Road, and has been mentioned as a potential replacement for Rafa Benitez at the end of the season.

Le Saux played in the same Chelsea team as Zola for a number of years, and still retains a strong friendship with the 46-year-old Italian, but is aware that any reports claiming Zola is a target for the Blues are purely speculation at this stage.

And although Le Saux is happy to hear Zola mentioned as a future Chelsea manager, he wants to see the former Stamford Bridge star continue the good work he has started with Watford.

"When I hear about Franco being linked with the club it does bring a smile to my face because he's a good mate of mine," Le Saux told GiveMeFootball.

"He's doing a good job at Watford, he's hugely popular here at Chelsea and he's a great guy. I hope he continues to do well at Watford and helps develop them into the team they have the potential to be."

The ex-England international, who currently works as an ambassador for Chelsea, says, along with Zola, the club will be linked with numerous managers over the coming months, although he does not expect a decision to be taken until the end of the season.

"There's going to be so many managers linked with Chelsea, whatever the situation, as there are with Manchester City and other clubs as well," Le Saux added.

"I think that there's a lot of work to be done between now and the end of the season for Rafa and the team to achieve what they want to achieve, and I think everything will be reviewed in the close season."

Graeme Le Saux is an ambassador for Chelsea FC and was speaking at an event to promote the final of the 2013 UEFA Women's Champions League, which will be held at Stamford Bridge on May 23. Tickets are on sale now, and can be purchased here.

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