Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri says he is sure Eden Hazard will remain at the club beyond the end of the European transfer window.
Speaking after Belgium beat England in the third-place play-off at this summer’s World Cup,Hazard hinted he could leave the club amid interest from Real Madrid, saying: “After six wonderful years at Chelsea it might be time to discover something different.”
He said: “I have spoken to him often in 10 days, but he has never said anything about [leaving]. I am sure Eden will be with us this season.”
Following news ofKevin De Bruyne’s three-month lay-off, the Italian also suggested he may need to manage Hazard’s fitness due to his World Cup excursions – although the same does not apply to N’Golo Kante.
He added: “I haven’t seen the injury of De Bruyne, at this level players play a lot of games in the season, so I think for them it is very dangerous.
“Kante for physical characteristics he is very quickly ready to play. He is ready, but for the other players for the World Cup it is a little bit different.”
Chelsea take on Arsenal at Stamford Bridge in Saturday’s evening kick-off but former Gunners captain Cesc Fabregas will miss the game with an “unusual” injury.
“Fabregas is out for this match,” Sarri said. “I hope he will be able to be on the pitch in the next week. Nothing serious, but he has an unusual injury.
“I hope he will have a training session this week. He has a pain near the knee, not the knee, but near it.”
Loan signing Mateo Kovacic could make his Premier League debut against Unai Emery’s side, but Sarri warned he is not yet ready to play the full 90 minutes.
He said: “I think Mateo will be very useful for us. At this moment he has to work, he is not ready for 90 minutes but maybe Saturday for the last 30 minutes. I ask a lot for him, because for me is a very good player and in my opinion he can improve more.
“I think he can play in the three midfielders, it is the same for him centre, left or right. He is a very good offensive player, but he has improved during two years at Real [Madrid].”
The 59-year-old also paid tribute to those affected by the Genoa bridge collapse, adding: “It is a terrible disaster. The consequences of what happened will go on for a long time.”