Date published: Friday 8th February 2019 3:42
Maurizio Sarri wants Eden Hazard to be “happy” wherever the Chelsea forward’s future lies.
Hazard this week admitted to having made a decision on his future, with his Chelsea contract expiring in June 2020 and amid repeated links with a move to Real Madrid.
Speaking ahead of Sunday’s Premier League clash at Manchester City, Sarri said on Friday: “I speak every day with Eden, but I speak with Eden about his position on the pitch.
“I will be really very happy with him if he will want to stay, because in my opinion he’s the best in Europe.
“But it’s up to him, I think. I want to see him happy. And so, he has to decide.”
Sarri has previously suggested he does not expect Hazard’s decision to be known until the end of the season.
The 60-year-old Italian said Chelsea were “lucky” to beat City last December when they ended the champions’ 21-match unbeaten run.
But Sarri insisted his side are not in the Premier League title race, contrary to a suggestion from City counterpart Pep Guardiola earlier this week.
City lead the table on goal difference from Liverpool, with both sides 12 points clear of Chelsea entering this weekend’s fixtures.
Sarri said: “I think we will be able to fight for the top four this season. No more, I think.
“We can win something of course, but in the Premier League there is a fight between Liverpool and Man City. At the moment Man City is the best team in Europe.”
Chelsea have no real injury concerns ahead of Sunday’s game.
Winger Callum Hudson-Odoi has recovered from illness which forced him to miss training and Gary Cahill has a minor back problem, but the defender is now a peripheral figure and was not likely to feature.
Sarri says he meets Guardiola socially in the off-season, alongside Arrigo Sacchi, the former AC Milan boss.
“We have a good relationship. Very, very good,” Sarri said.
“Usually during the summer we have dinner together. I hope he speaks very well about me as a coach, as a friend.
“Usually we learn from Arrigo Sacchi. Because Arrigo is always with us. So it’s very interesting to speak to Arrigo.”