The Mirror says Zola has emerged as a serious contender to become Chelsea's next full-time boss - and help change the Stamford Bridge mood.
Although the Blues hierarchy already feared that Pep Guardiola was slipping from their grasp, Wednesday's confirmation that the Catalan has opted to join Bayern Munich was still a blow to Roman Abramovich.
Former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, Borussia Dortmund's Jurgen Klopp, Michael Laudrup of Swansea and Diego Simeone, whose Atletico Madrid side humiliated the West Londoners in August's UEFA SuperCup, have all been linked with the post.
Frank Rijkaard is also available, after being sacked this week by Saudi Arabia.
But with Blues fans starting to vote with their feet and pockets as well as showing their displeasure at interim manager Rafa Benitez, Zola will be a live option to take over in the summer when the board sit down next month to start planning the club's future.