EXCLUSIVE: Sources close to Italian great and former West Ham manager Gianfranco Zola have told au.fourfourtwo.com that speculation linking him to the vacant coaching job at Sydney FC are totally unfounded.
Since the Sky Blues announced last week that coach Vitezslav Lavicka would part ways with the club at the end of this season, speculation has been rife about potential candidates.
And with Sydney emphasizing their new coach was to have an attacking and entertaining ethos, Zola’s name was soon being tipped as the next boss.
His persona, coaching style and playing record, it was suggested, made him the ideal choice.
Online bookmaker sportsbet.com.au even suggested the former Chelsea superstar and Azzurri legend was favourite for the job installing him at $5 ahead of Branko Culina, Steve Corica and Ian Crook.
But we can confirm that Zola is happy to stay in Europe and is fielding coaching offers from various European countries.
Meanwhile Central Coast Mariners coach Graham Arnold has gone from being a rank outsider for the Sydney job to the new clear favourite, with odds slashed from being a $13 shot on Friday to just $2.75 on Sunday.
Arnold is said to be considering a move away from the Mariners for a club with more money and resources after allegedly being owed unpaid wages and regular doubts over the club's financial future.
But he claims the rumours won't take his focus away from Central Coast's title tilt, finals run and Asian Champions League campaign, despite losing 2-0 to Roar over the weekend.
Former Socceroo and Sydney FC favourite Tony Popovic is also a strong potential rival candidate for the job if the Sky Blues widen their search to overseas.
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