Sarri: 'I knew Hazard wanted to leave Chelsea'

Real Madrid is expected to complete a long-mooted deal for Eden Hazard, with Maurizio Sarri aware of the player's desire to leave Chelsea.

Chelsea's Eden Hazard with the Europa League trophy   -  Getty Images

Maurizio Sarri said he knew Eden Hazard wanted to leave Chelsea after the forward appeared to confirm his imminent move to Real Madrid.

Hazard struck twice as Chelsea beat Arsenal 4-1 in Baku in Wednesday's Europa League final to earn Sarri the first major silverware of his coaching career.

And in a post-match interview with BT Sport, Hazard indicated the final will prove his last appearance for the club, saying: "I think it is a goodbye."

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Madrid has long been linked with the Belgium playmaker and reports in Spain has claimed the deal could be finalised as soon as Monday.

And Blues head coach Sarri, whose own future is up in the air amid links to Serie A champion Juventus, accepts Hazard is highly likely to move on.

"As you know, Hazard is a wonderful player, but you have to spend two or three months to understand him as a man," Sarri told a news conference. "But when you are able to understand him as a man, he's a wonderful man.

"I knew. I knew that Eden wanted to leave, of course. But, as I said in every press conference, I wanted to respect his decision. And now I have to speak to my club."

 

Sarri will now hold talks over his own future at the club, with his first season yielding the Europa League title, a place in the EFL Cup final and a top-four Premier League finish.

Juve is reportedly keen to appoint Sarri after the departure of Massimiliano Allegri, with the former Napoli coach potentially set for a Serie A return.

"The season is finished one hour ago," Sarri added. "Tomorrow, I will begin to speak with my club, with the owner, with a director, with Marina [Granovskaia]... I don't know.

"We need to speak like at any club at the end of the season. We need to know what the club can do for me, and what I can do better for the club. Also the club need to speak to me.

"Then, after a couple of days, I will decide. I have a contract so, at the moment, we are talking about nothing.

"You know very well that I love the Premier League, the level of the competition. I am lucky because I am in Chelsea, one of the best teams, one of the best clubs in the Premier League in the best championship in the world.

"So, at the moment, I am happy. But, of course, I want to know if the club are happy. If we can improve. That's normal, I think. But I do a discussion with the owner, the president, the director after every season in every club, so I think it's normal."

Asked directly if he feels he deserves a second season at Stamford Bridge, Sarri said: "I think so, but it's only my opinion. My opinion is not enough."

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