LONDON – Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri said on Sunday he is still in the dark over Eden Hazard’s future after his side secured third spot in the Premier League.
The forward, heavily linked with a move to Real Madrid, came off the bench in Sunday’s goalless draw at Leicester on the final day of the Premier League season.
Hazard blew kisses to the travelling fans who called for him to stay after a 21-minute cameo.
The Belgian was rested for most of the match by Chelsea ahead of their Europa League final against London rivals Arsenal at the end of the month.
Hazard, 28, has talked about it beng “a dream” to one day play for Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane but Sarri said he did not know if the playmaker was set to leave Stamford Bridge for the Bernabeu.
“I hope of course, like every fan of Chelsea, that he will remain with us,” he said. “But at the moment I don’t know.”
“I know very well that Eden tried to do his best for seven seasons at Chelsea,” the Blues boss added. “He did very well, he has become one of the best two or three players in the world, but I think also that we have to respect him and his decision.”
Despite finishing third in the Premier League, Chelsea were still 26 points adrift of champions Manchester City.
Sarri also cast doubt over his own position and could not say for sure if he will be at Stamford Bridge for a second season.
“I think but I am not sure. I don’t know. I can say only the club asked me to get into the Champions League and we reached the target – the Champions League.
“As you know very well, I love English football.
“I love the Premier League, the level is really the best in the world I think, the atmosphere in the stadiums is wonderful. I like very much to stay here.”
The Foxes finished ninth and boss Brendan Rodgers, who replaced Claude Puel in February, is looking forward to the future.
“There is no waiting in football now, there is no time,” he said. “It was a difficult decision and normally, ideally as a coach or a manager, you don’t want to come in until the summer.
“I’ve had an invaluable period here and that was the reason for coming, seeing the players under pressure for this period of time and seeing if I can influence players to be here for the project going forward.”AFP