Chelsea are in the market for a new striker after manager Antonio Conte told Diego Costa that he has no future at the club, but they suffered a setback in their transfer plans when Romelu Lukaku opted for a move to Manchester United.
The Blues have since turned their attention to Real Madrid's Alvaro Morata, but Zola believes that Belotti would be a more natural replacement for Costa.
"To be honest, I was thinking Chelsea should go for Andrea Belotti in Italy. I thought that considering the type of qualities Costa has, that Belotti was the perfect fit," he told talkSPORT.
"Morata is a little bit different, he's more of a finesse player. He hasn't got the presence of a player like Costa in the box. He's a different player, he brings other qualities.
"Costa was very influential last season, he's a type of player who fits with the style of football at Chelsea, and [finding a like-for-like replacement] will be the key for Chelsea."
Belotti, who scored 32 goals for club and country last season, has a minimum release clause of €100m (£89m) in his contract.