Sarri In The Dark Over Hazard Future

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Maurizio Sarri still does not know if Eden Hazard has decided his Chelsea future. 

Hazard's contract expires in 2020 and he has regularly hinted at his interest in moving to Real Madrid, who are reportedly set to spend heavily in the transfer market following the return of Zinedine Zidane. 

Former Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has said he wants his Belgium team-mate Hazard to join him at Madrid, but the forward has also suggested he could renew his deal at Stamford Bridge. 

Chelsea's situation is further complicated by the club's two-window transfer ban, meaning they could not replace Hazard if he was sold, although their appeal will be heard by UEFA next month. 

 

Sarri told Hazard in December it was "time to decide" whether his future lay at Chelsea or elsewhere, but the Italian still does not know his plans. 

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"I don't know, two possibilities, I think. You can ask Hazard, or the club," Sarri told a news conference on Friday when asked if Zidane's Madrid return changed the scenario.  

"I am not in charge of the market, as you know, so I don't know. It's important Hazard, in this moment, to have him at the top in the last two months. 

"Now we cannot solve the problem, the market is closed so it's not important. I want to respect his decision, but I don't know at the moment if he has decided or not."

Hazard won his 100th international cap during the break and Sarri bemoaned the state of his squad after the start of Euro 2020 qualifiers. 

"We have some players who are a little bit tired now, of course," Sarri continued. "[N'Golo] Kante, [Olivier] Giroud, Hazard all played three matches in seven days. 

"Now we are not in October. It's different. It's more tiring, I think. So we need to recover. I had the whole squad only yesterday. Yesterday I saw during the training that somebody was a little bit tired."

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Chelsea lost their last Premier League game before the international break 2-0 at Everton and Sarri is keen to see how his side bounce back at 18th-placed Cardiff City on Sunday. 

"Unfortunately, we have to wait for the reaction during the match," said Sarri. "We are working well in training but as you know the only thing that is important is the reaction in the match. 

"It will be very difficult as they are a physical team, dangerous in the box and on set pieces, so I think we need to defend very high, defend very far from our box. Otherwise for us it could be a problem."