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Gianfranco Zola becomes first external candidate to confirm interest in Norwich City vacancy

Former Norwich City manager Chris Hughton and then-Watford boss Gianfranco Zola (left) during their sides' Capital One Cup tie at Vicarage Road last season. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Former Norwich City manager Chris Hughton and then-Watford boss Gianfranco Zola (left) during their sides' Capital One Cup tie at Vicarage Road last season. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

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Former Watford and West Ham manager Gianfranco Zola has described his chances of becoming Norwich City’s new manager as “a possibility”.

The Canaries are looking for a new boss to take over the reins permanently from Chris Hughton following their Premier League relegation last season.

Asked about the opening at Carrow Road, Zola said: “It’s a possibility – it’s a very good club. I like the way it’s structured. It’s a good possibility, so we will see how it goes.

“I’m looking for a team. It’s been a few months but I’m ready to go again.”

It is understood Zola is one of the candidates the City board has spoken to about becoming manager, along with former Cardiff boss and City player Malky Mackay, and last season’s interim manager Neil Adams.

City had originally said a decision would be announced by the end of last week – however, that was extended on Monday as City chief executive David McNally said the ongoing process would take a few more days to complete.

Legendary Italy player Zola, 47, managed West Ham for almost two seasons in the Premier League between 2008 and 2010 before being dismissed.

His 18 months in charge at Championship side Watford from 2012 saw Zola lead the Hornets to the brink of the Premier League – only to lose their play-off final to a late Kevin Phillips penalty for Crystal Palace, in extra-time at Wembley.

Zola’s playing career included Chelsea, Parma and Napoli – while his managerial reigns have widely been regarded as including a flair for attacking football that matched his playing style.

Zola’s Watford led 2-0 at home to Norwich in last season’s League Cup third round tie, before a late double from City forced extra-time – with Gary Hooper bagging the eventual winner.

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