Eden Hazard is set to make his first Chelsea start this season against Newcastle on Sunday after Blues manager Maurizio Sarri insisted there is no chance of the Belgian star being sold.
Hazard has been the subject of interest from Real Madrid amid talk of a possible £200m ($257m) bid before the Spanish transfer window closes next week.
But Sarri is adamant the Chelsea playmaker won’t follow in the footsteps of his compatriot Thibaut Courtois’s move from Stamford Bridge to Real earlier this month.
After using Hazard as a substitute for Chelsea’s Premier League wins over Huddersfield and Arsenal while he recovered from his World Cup exertions, Sarri is set to start the midfielder at St James’ Park this weekend.
“I think Eden is ready for 50 or 60 minutes, I don’t know for 90 minutes, but he can start,” Sarri told reporters on Friday.
“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 Chelsea duo Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Gary Cahill remain unclear however, with Sarri revealing he has held talks with both.
England 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.
“It was only a decision about the positions I chose to put on the bench to win,” Sarri added. – Punch
– Sept. 8, 2018 @ 11:55 GMT