8 April 2019

Sarri: Difficult To Keep Hazard  (Sky Sports)

Maurizio SarriMaurizio Sarri says the £100m price tag touted for Eden Hazard is too cheap, but admits he is powerless to keep him at Chelsea.

Hazard shone with both goals in Chelsea's 2-0 win over West Ham to send them third in the Premier League, hours after it was reported by Sky Sports News that Real Madrid were increasingly confident of signing the Belgian in the summer.

Sarri says keeping Hazard will be difficult, but he believes in the current market the forward is worth more than £100m.

He told Sky Sports: "[£100m] is too cheap, in this market it's too cheap. We have seen in the last market window every price I think. So I think it is really very hard to change Hazard with another player."

Asked what power he has to keep Hazard at the club, Sarri conceded: "I cannot do anything [to keep him], because the club agrees with me, but if Eden wants to make another experience, it is very difficult to keep him, I think.

"[We will try to persuade him] that we are trying to improve, to become one of the best teams in England, and as a consequence in Europe, but I think I have to respect his decision."

Speaking to Sky Sports after the game, Hazard himself was asked if the West Ham fans' chants of "He's off to Madrid" were true, but he moved to settle concerns.

"They are wrong. I'm just focused with Chelsea until the end of the season. I just want to finish in the top four and win the Europa League. We still have a lot to do, and then we will see.

"Now we are in a good momentum. We've won three in a row and for the mentality it's good to keep going like that. Top four is our target, winning the Europa League is our challenge, so we have to keep fighting on both fronts. We can do it."

Hazard, who has now scored 19 goals in all competitions this season, scored a goal-of-the-season contender to open the scoring, picking the ball up from deep before taking on three West Ham players and finishing superbly.

"He's very honest. I don't think he's great in front of the press. He's too honest. I criticised Sarri for the way he spoke about Hudson-Odoi after his international debut.

"It's not right, and he shouldn't say that about his player [Hazard]."

Gary Neville echoed Carragher's words, and says Sarri should have told a white lie about Chelsea's stance on Hazard...

"If I was the owner of the club, or a member in the boardroom, I would probably be seething about that. I think his interpreter needs to jump in quite quickly to change his mind a little bit.

"It was a strange thing to hear. Usually, you would hear, 'we're trying to keep him, we want Eden Hazard to be at the club', you normally hear those lines even if you don't believe them."

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