Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Zola accepts West Ham job

Gianfranco Zola has agreed a deal to become the new manager of English Premier League outfit West Ham United.

Gianfranco ZolaThe former Napoli, Parma and Cagliari star is believed to have agreed a three-year deal to succeed Alan Curbishley at Upton Park.

The 42-year-old is expected to fly into London on Thursday to sign the deal before being unveiled to the media.

Zola was on a shortlist along with Roberto Donadoni, but the former Italy coach withdrew his application leaving the road clear for Zola.

The Italian's agent held talks with the London club and the terms have been quickly agreed between all parties.

Zola, who becomes the club's first ever foreign manager, has had to leave his role as assistant coach of the Italy Under-21s to take up the job and he is expected to be in the stands for Saturday's trip to West Bromwich Albion.

The former Chelsea players' appointment had to be delayed until now as he wanted to concentrate on helping guide the Azzurrini qualify for the UEFA European Under-21 Championship play-offs, which they did with last night's 1-1 draw in Croatia.

Interviews were conducted last week and both Donadoni and Zola stood out but the latter emerged as the club's first choice, prompting Donadoni to pull out on Tuesday.

Pierluigi Casiraghi, coach of the Italy Under-21s, today ruled himself out of a role assisting Zola at Upton Park, saying he intends to remain in his current job for the rest of the campaign.

"I will lose a great coach and a true friend," Casiraghi said. "But I don't want to leave the national team."

Source: Sky Sports

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