Gianfranco Zola sends message to Chelsea FC teenager amid transfer talk

The Chelsea FC legend believes Callum Hudson-Odoi should remain at Stamford Bridge

Chelsea FC manager Maurizio Sarri Photo: The Sport Review

Gianfranco Zola has told Callum Hudson-Odoi to remain at Chelsea FC amid reported interest from Bayern Munich.

The 18-year-old has been linked with a surprise move to the Bundesliga title holders over the past week or so, despite his lack of first-team experience at the west London side.

Bayern are reported to be willing to make a £30m offer for the Chelsea FC teenager but could face competition from Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund.

Hudson-Odoi made his Premier League debut with a second-half appearance in Chelsea FC’s 2-1 win at Watford on Boxing Day after the teenager replaced Willian.

The Blues forward has made four appearances in the Europa League this season, opening his account with a goal in a 4-0 win over Greek side PAOK in the Europa League.

Speaking at his media conference ahead of Chelsea FC’s third-round clash against Nottingham Forest at Stamford Bridge on Saturday afternoon, Zola was quizzed about Hudson-Odoi’s future.

The Chelsea FC assistant manager offered some advice to the teenager after the ex-striker appeared to confirm interest from Bayern.

“He’s at an age where it’s very important to keep a good attitude,” Zola said.

“You need to use these years to keep improving. It’s not important to play straight away, playing 20 games – it’s important to develop. He has to keep having an open mind to get better day by day. He’s in a period where he’s showing a lot of potential but he has to become a footballer. It’s about patience.

“I know Bayern is very interested in him but we’re interested in him, as well. We’ve proposed with him a contract for quite a while so we’re waiting to see what he thinks about that. I’ve already told him: ‘It’s not a waste of time. It’s a time in which you can really get better because you are pushed to do more.’

“I hope Callum is using this time in a wise way and hopefully he’ll sign a contract with us. This is the first time I’ve been direct with him about the contract. I understand he has requests but we believe he can have a bright future with us.”

Chelsea FC will take on Tottenham Hotspur in the first leg of their League Cup semi-final at Wembley on Tuesday night.

The Blues signed United States international Christian Pulisic in a £58m deal from Borussia Dortmund last week.

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