Italy U21 assistant boss Gianfranco Zola says he's unsure if Roman Abramovich was serious about buying Cagliari when he tried to bring him back to Chelsea upon the appointment of Jose Mourinho as manager.
"I don't know if that's true. You should ask Mr Abramovich," Zola told the Independent. "He did meet me in Sardinia and made a couple of offers to me to come back and work for Chelsea. I was very flattered. I said to him that I care about this club very much, and when I do come back, I want to do something very valuable.
"I am getting the [coaching] knowledge so one day I can do something important for the club. Of course, I don't know if that will happen. Maybe Chelsea won't need my services. But I want to get to the point where I can talk to a player and be helpful."
On Chelsea's transformation under Abramovich, Zola added: "I try not to judge. I compare it to the years when I was playing for Chelsea, but that's not correct, because it was a different situation. The core of the team then was English, and there was a fantastic atmosphere, but Mr Abramovich came in with huge resources and did it another way. What I can say is that having a lot of money doesn't make a winning team. It's not easy to make big players bond together. That's why Mourinho did a great job.
"People say they bought the Premiership title, but a few years ago in Italy Internazionale were every year spending double, treble, what other teams spent. They couldn't win anything. That tells you that money is not everything. A winning team must have quality, but it means nothing if the players are not connected to each other."