Chelsea legend Gianfranco Zola insists the Blues have not contacted him over their soon-to-be vacant managerial position.
The ex-Italian international has re-built his reputation as a manager at Watford this season, guiding the Hornets on a challenge for automatic promotion from the Championship in his first season at the helm.
Success has understandably led to speculation over a return to Stamford Bridge, with ‘interim manager’ Rafa Benitez set to leave west London at the end of the season.
However, Zola continues to distance himself from speculation surrounding the post on the King’s Road, and reiterated the fact that he hasn’t been contacted by anyone at Chelsea.
"No-one from Chelsea has spoken to me. I am respectful for what Watford have done for me and I am focusing on getting the job done here,” he told The Mail on Sunday.
"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 doing at Watford, enjoying and learning."
Zola has benefited from a number of influential loans at Vicarage Road this season, with the Pozzo family connection certainly working in the former West Ham manager’s favour.
And, despite possible sanctions over the club’s transfer activity, the 46-year-old is hopeful that several part-time employees can become full-time additions in the summer.
"The Pozzo family have ambitious ideas for this club. I don't think this will be seen as a club where players are in transit, and we will try to keep the ones from Udinese that we believe are good enough to stay if they want to stay,” he added.
“Hopefully there is a solution to the embargo, too."
Zola’s commitment to the cause in Hertfordshire suggests Chelsea may have to look elsewhere in their search for a successor to Benitez – if owner Roman Abramovich ever considered the fans’ favourite in the first place.