Tuesday 20 August 2019

Maurizio Sarri still unsure of Eden Hazard’s Chelsea future

Hazard has been linked with a move to Real Madrid.

Eden Hazard acknowledges the Chelsea fans after the game (Mike Egerton/PA)
Eden Hazard acknowledges the Chelsea fans after the game (Mike Egerton/PA)

By Nick Mashiter, Press Association Sport

Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri insists he is still in the dark over Eden Hazard’s future.

The forward, who is yet to commit his future to Stamford Bridge, came off the bench in Sunday’s 0-0 draw at Leicester on the final day of the Premier League season.

Hazard blew kisses to the travelling fans who called for him to stay after a 22 minute cameo which failed to inspire a victory.

The Belgian was rested with the Europa League final against Arsenal at the end of the month in mind.

Real Madrid continued to be heavily linked with the 28-year-old and Sarri conceded he did not know if Hazard will stay.

He said: “I hope of course, like every fan of Chelsea, that he will remain with us. But at the moment I don’t know.

“I know very well that Eden tried to do his best for seven seasons at Chelsea. He did very well, he has become one of the best two or three players in the world, but I think also that we have to respect him and his decision.”

Despite finishing third in the Premier League, Chelsea still sat 26 points adrift of champions Manchester City.

Sarri also cast doubt over his own position and could not say for sure if he will be at Stamford Bridge for a second season.

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Maurizio Sarri, front left, is unsure over his Chelsea future (Mike Egerton/PA)

He added: “I think but I am not sure. I don’t know. I can say only the club asked me to get into the Champions League and we reached the target – the Champions League.

“As you know very well, I love English football. I love the Premier League, the level is really the best in the world I think, the atmosphere in the stadiums is wonderful. I like very much to stay here.”

Jamie Vardy and Youri Tielemans wasted a fine opening just before the break when the pair failed to combine properly following David Luiz’s slip.

Gonzalo Higuain then missed the best chance of the match when, unmarked, he sidefooted wide from six yards in first-half stoppage time.

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Gonzalo Higuain, right, missed a fine chance for the visitors (Mike Egerton/PA)

The Foxes finished ninth and boss Brendan Rodgers, who replaced Claude Puel in February, is looking forward to the future.

“There is no waiting in football now, there is no time,” he said.

“It was a difficult decision and normally, ideally as a coach or a manager, you don’t want to come in until the summer.

“I’ve had an invaluable period here and that was the reason for coming, seeing the players under pressure for this period of time and seeing if I can influence players to be here for the project going forward.”

PA Media

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