The Guardian says Zola played with Clarke during his seven-year spell at Chelsea but has no experience of him as a coach. So he turned to Mourinho, who promoted Clarke from youth-team coach to his assistant after becoming Chelsea's manager in June 2004. They won two Premier League titles, one FA Cup and two League Cups.
Mourinho, now in charge of Inter Milan, believes Zola would receive the same support and high-level coaching from Clarke as he enjoyed at Chelsea. Zola has told West Ham's chief executive, Scott Duxbury, to continue the pursuit of Clarke despite the feud it has created with his former employers.