Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri has suggested that Eden Hazard will remain with the club for the upcoming 2018/19 season, despite rumours linking the Belgian with a move away from Stamford Bridge. Hazard, who was pivotal in Belgium’s recent semi-final run at Russia 2018, was widely expected to leave Stamford Bridge for Real Madrid this summer; however, the 27-year-old is understood to have held positive talks with Chelsea over the last few days.
Barely a week ago, it appeared that Chelsea were at risk of losing Eden Hazard, Willian, and Thibaut Courtois. There were even rumours linking midfield maestro N’Golo Kante with a possible move to Barcelona. The growing uncertainty surrounding each of these players, suggested a baptism of fire for new manager Maurizio Sarri, yet with the summer transfer window set to close later today, Sarri can now breathe a sign of relief.
As it stands, the only likely departure is that of goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, who looks set to join Real Madrid. Chelsea have moved quickly to remedy the situation by setting up a deal for Athletic Bilbao ‘keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga. The club have also maintained their stance that neither Willian nor Kante will be leaving the Bridge anytime soon.
All that remains is for Chelsea to reassure fans that talismanic forward Eden Hazard will also be staying at the club, and according to Sarri, this seems to be the case. “I don’t see a problem in this moment.” said Sarri. “I have spoken with Eden two or three times in the last two days.
“He has spoken of everything. I think this problem – the Hazard problem – is not present now.”
Chelsea have made just two notable signings this summer, bringing in midfielder Jorginho from Sarri’s former club Napoli, and acquiring veteran goalkeeper Rob Green on a free transfer from Huddersfield Town. The Blues’ lack of transfer activity could mean that Sarri will strive to put his faith in youth – something that his predecessor Antonio Conte was often criticised for failing to achieve. One of Chelsea’s biggest youth prospects is England international Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who is hoping to finally make an impact in the senior team following his loan spell at Crystal Palace last season.
Sarri said of Loftus-Cheek: “He’s potentially a great player. “He has to improve from a tactical point of view but I think it’s not a problem.
“He is very young, he can be a very useful player for us.”