Watford boss Gianfranco Zola has confirmed his interest in Chelsea youngster Nathaniel Chalobah.

The 18 year-old enjoyed a successful spell at Vicarage Road last season and is available on loan, with Zola previously hinting that he is keen to bring in another defensive midfielder to compete with Iriney.

But crucially, Chalobah was rewarded with a new contract at Chelsea by new boss Jose Mourinho this summer and The Hornets could be priced out of a move.

"We will try and attract the players with what we can offer. We can’t offer what other clubs can offer in terms of money but I think we can attract players. Nathaniel knows what we are and Chelsea know the type of work we do," Zola told The Watford Observer.

“We can still give Nathaniel something to help him develop. So I am relying on this and we’ll see what we can do,” insisted Zola.

With Wigan, who are flush following the sale of James McCarthy, also interested Watford may not be able to match the Latics offer to pay the youngster's reported £35,00 a week wages. It is somewhat ironic that Chalobah's reward for developing so well under the tutorship of Zola has made a reunion unlikely.

Meanwhile, the Italian also revealed the club have already missed out on one loan signing due to a lack of funds compared to big spending QPR, which does not come as a good omen in their pursuit of Chalobah.

"We were interested in him (Tom Carroll). But we are not a team that can offer the type of wages QPR are offering right now. We have to try and compete in other ways. We tried to use those other ways but they were not enough," declared Zola.