BY PAUL LAGAN
New Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri has pleaded with Eden Hazard and other want-away players to give him a chance to prove himself to them and persuade them to stay.
Hazard, Thibaut Courtois, Willian and Gary Cahill’s Blues futures are up in the air.
Real Madrid want the Belgian pair while Manchester United are courting the Brazilian wideman, and new boys to the Premier League Wolverhampton Wanderers are eyeing club captain Cahill. Sarri, pictured right, said: “Hazard is a high level player and he is one of the top two or three European players.
“Obviously I would like to have fun during the week with him, this would mean very good results and we will have been very competitive at the end of the season.
“I hope I will improve him, this is very difficult given he is at a very high level.”
The new head coach, 59, landed on the other side of the world yesterday with a
25-man squad for a one-off pre-season match on Monday in Perth with Gianfranco Zola, who has rejoined the Blues as his assistant.
Sarri suggests he is unconcerned by transfer talk and will have little time to impose his playing style on the squad ahead of the league opener at Huddersfield Town on August 12.
He said: “Well, clearly we would always like to keep the strongest players.
“This is what any manager and club wants to do. We will have to see how the transfer market goes.
“But I want to clarify I feel I am more of a field manager, a pitch manager than a general manager. I am one of the few managers who is bored by the transfer market. I don’t want to talk about it, I am not that interested in it.
“My goal is to have fun as long as I am here and be competitive in all competitions until the end.”
Quite what supporters and players will make of his notion that he is not bothered by trophies and all he wants to do is have fun, will become clear in the first couple of months of the season.
Zola, who played more than 200 games for Chelsea during his seven years in SW6, said: “For me, it is an amazing thing. I am very willing to work hard because it is going to be a difficult challenge but I am pleased to be here, and to work hard with Maurizio to be successful.”
Chelsea FC Women started their pre-season training this week but are still in the dark as to who their opponents will be in their opening WSL 1 encounter. The FA have yet to announce the fixtures. The Blues have already started selling season tickets.
A club spokeswoman said: “We are expecting to hear something this week on the fixtures.”
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