Chelsea
Chelsea’s Belgian midfielder Eden Hazard. PHOTO: Glyn KIRK / AFP

Despite Eden Hazard’s suggestion he was seeking to leave Chelsea, Maurizio Sarri beleives he will sign a new contract at the club.

Speaking after Belgium beat England in the third-place play-off at this summer’s World Cup, Hazard told Belgian news outlet HLN: “After six wonderful years at Chelsea it might be time to discover something different.”

However, the Premier League transfer window has closed with Hazard still at Stamford Bridge, and Sarri is now positive that the 27-year-old will remain at the club for the long term.

He said: “Hazard is with us. He’s not a problem. I have spoken with him three, four times for everything. He never said something about the market.

“I think he is very happy to stay here. I think the new contract will be no problem.”

While the opportunity to buy new players has now passed in England, windows around Europe remain open.

Some of Chelsea’s key players, such as Hazard, Willian and N’Golo Kante have attracted interest from clubs across the continent, and the timing of the window closures mean they could theoretically leave without Chelsea having the opportunity to replace them.

Sarri, though, has dismissed the idea as “impossible”, adding: “The market here is closed. We cannot change important players now.”

The head coach did, however, admit that he was looking to move on some of the fringe players in his squad, explaining: “I think the squad is too large so I think some players have to go on loan – but I don’t know who.

“I prefer to have 23, 24 players and three or four very young players.”