Saturday 24 August 2019

Sarri told Drinkwater he wasn't wanted in August

Danny Drinkwater. Photo: PA
Danny Drinkwater. Photo: PA

John Percy

Maurizio Sarri told Danny Drinkwater at the start of the season that he had no future at Chelsea in his regime, the manager revealed yesterday, raising further doubts over the £35 million midfielder's faltering career.

Drinkwater was charged with drink-driving earlier this week after crashing his car in the early hours of Monday morning, and Sarri has reiterated that he is not in his plans at Stamford Bridge.

The £120,000-a-week (€139,000) England international has made no competitive appearances for Chelsea this season after Sarri told him in August that he did not suit his system.

A former Premier League champion with Leicester, Drinkwater rejected moves away in January, but Chelsea will look to sell him this summer for a third transfer window in succession.

Ahead of tonight's Europa League quarter-final against Slavia Prague, Sarri said of the 29-year-old: "As he knows very well, he has never played because, in my opinion, he is not suitable to my system. I told him everything in August. He appreciated it, but he decided to stay at Chelsea."

Chelsea go in to the tie against the Czech side as favourites to win the competition.

With nine wins and a draw from their 10 games in Europe this season, they are on course to repeat their success of 2013 and secure the return of Champions League football.

Slavia's Eden Arena will be partially closed for the tie after the club was found guilty of "multiple offences" by Uefa during the Europa League game against Genk.

Chelsea still could face an awkward night against the Czech league leaders, who eliminated Sevilla in the last round and are unbeaten at home since August.

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