Cagliari turn to Zola

Gianfranco Zola has been appointed as coach of his former club Cagliari a day after Zdenek Zeman was sacked.

Zola has been out of work for a year following his resignation as manager of Championship side Watford.

The 48-year-old ex-Italy striker was on Wednesday announced as the successor to the vastly experienced Zemen, who paid the price for Cagliari's poor start to the season.

Zola, who will officially take the helm from Sunday, will be assisted by former Lazio and Italy frontman Pierluigi Casiraghi and is charged with the task of guiding the Sardinian outfit up the Serie A table, as they will return from the winter break in the relegation zone.

A statement on Cagliari's official website said: "Gianfranco Zola, 48, to lead the first team Cagliari Calcio from December 28, the day of resumption of training at the sports center of Asseminello. 

"In the coming days will be notified of the date of the official presentation of the new coach. The role of assistant coach Pierluigi Casiraghi will be covered. 

"Both put their international experience and their winning mentality at the disposal of the company and the team to get the results that all the fans of Cagliari deserve."

Zeman only appointed in July by new owner Tommaso Giulini and lasted less than six months in the role after masterminding just two wins from 16 Serie A matches.

It will be Zola's first coaching role for a club in his homeland, having previously been in charge of West Ham before taking over at Watford, but he was number two to Casiraghi for Italy Under-21s.