Belfast Telegraph

Maurizio Sarri confident Eden Hazard will stay at Chelsea

The Belgian has been linked with a move to Real Madrid.

Eden Hazard is in line to make his first start of the season for Chelsea on Sunday after boss Maurizio Sarri reiterated the Belgium international is going nowhere.

Hazard has long been linked with Real Madrid and with the transfer window in Spain still open until next week there remains the chance they will try to prise him away.

But Sarri insists Chelsea’s talisman will not be sold as he cannot bring in a replacement, and the Italian is ready to pitch him in from the start at Newcastle following two substitute appearances so far.

“I think Eden is ready for 50 or 60 minutes, I don’t know for 90 minutes, but he can start,” said Sarri.

“I am the coach of a very good team, a very great club, and so I think with such an important player I cannot sell without the possibility to buy another player at the same level.

“So I think Eden will stay with us for the whole season.”

The long-term futures of England duo Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Gary Cahill remain unclear, although Sarri revealed he has held talks with both.

Midfielder Loftus-Cheek was left out of the squad against Arsenal last weekend but Sarri will keep him at Stamford Bridge at least until the next transfer window opens.

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“It was only a decision about the positions I chose to put on the bench to win,” Sarri added.

“I have spoken with him twice this week, after I spoke to the club, so I think that Loftus-Cheek will remain with us. We can speak again about his situation, but only in December.”

Centre-half Cahill has yet to figure in the squad this season, and it looks as though he might struggle to find a place in Sarri’s back four.

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Gary Cahill has yet to play for Chelsea this season (David Davies/PA)

There are even reports emanating from Turkey that the 32-year-old is a target for Galatasaray.

But Sarri said: “With Cahill I think at this moment for a defender it’s more difficult to play in my team after only 20 days of training.

“It’s easier for an offensive player, but for a defender it’s more difficult so at this moment he needs to have much more training with us.

“I told him that he needs to be patient now but that he is very important for us.”

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