Hazard, "going nowhere" and ready to start for Chelsea - Sarri
Chelsea head coach Maurizio Sarri has reiterated that Eden Hazard is staying at Stamford Bridge, with the winger ready to start against Newcastle on Sunday.
Eden Hazard is going nowhere and is ready to start Premier League games for Chelsea, says Maurizio Sarri. Hazard continues to be linked with leaving Stamford Bridge, with Real Madrid yet to replace Cristiano Ronaldo. But the winger has indicated he is happy to stay at Chelsea and Sarri reiterated again the Belgium international will not be sold.
Hazard has come off the bench in each of Sarri's Premier League games in charge, with the Blues taking maximum points from two matches. And the 27-year-old could start against Newcastle United on Sunday despite not yet being fit enough to complete a full game.
"I don't know. I think that Eden is ready for 50-60 minutes maybe not for 90 minutes but he can start," Sarri told reporters. "Maybe [he wants to start] but I think it's more important my mind. I am happy with him, he wants to play. I think it's the right way to think for him, but I have to think for everybody. I think I am the coach of a very good team, a very great club, so I think it's so important for him to not be sold without the possibility to buy another important player of the same level, so I think Eden will stay with us for all the season."
Kovacic in the line-up
Sarri suggested Mateo Kovacic, who has joined the club on loan from Real Madrid, may also be ready to start against Newcastle but the coach is unsure whether Chelsea can complete a permanent deal for the Croatia midfielder.
"Mateo and Eden played very well in the last 30 minutes [against Arsenal] but I think also that in that moment the intensity of the match was going down," Sarri added. "But I think like Eden it's possible for him to play for 60-65 minutes."
Of a permanent Kovacic deal, Sarri added: "I think now it is very difficult to say, I like him very much so I hope that he will remain here in the future." Kovacic's arrival looks likely to push Ruben Loftus-Cheek down the pecking order but Sarri expects to keep the England midfielder at the club rather than sending him out on loan.
"I decided to put two wingers and only one midfielder on the bench," Sarri said of his squad against Arsenal. "I have spoken with him twice this week after I spoke with the club, so I think that he will remain with us. We can speak again about his situation but I think only in December."
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