Watford manager Gianfranco Zola remains hopeful over a potential loan switch for Chelsea starlet Nathaniel Chalobah, but concedes such a deal would be 'difficult'.
18-year-old Chalobah, who has made ten appearances for the England U21s, spent the entire 2012/13 season on loan at Vicarage Road and was a hugely influential figure in the team that reached the Championship playoff final in May.
The Sierra Leone-born prodigy was been linked with another temporary switch away from Stamford Bridge throughout the summer transfer window, with Watford evidently very keen to secure a deal to take Chalobah back to the Championship.
Such a switch is yet to materialise, however, with 47-year-old Zola, who became a firm fans favourite during a seven-year stint in West London between 1996-2003, stressing that there is certainly no shortage of other teams interested in the player.
"It is not easy because Nathaniel is not the same player that we had before," Zola was quoted by talkSPORT.
"He is better after the experience he had last year and more teams are looking at him. There are some budget issues which make it more difficult. If it happens then we will be very happy as we rate him very highly over here."
Despite honestly acknowledging the potential difficulties involved in any deal for Chalobah, Zola also insisted that the move would be beneficial to all parties.
"It is very difficult for me as I am not handling it myself directly. I do hope that it happens because it will be good for Nathaniel, Watford and Chelsea," he added.
Zola's Watford, who drew 1-1 at home to Charlton Athletic on Saturday, currently sit eighth in the Championship table having collected nine points from their opening six fixtures this season.