Chelsea name club legend Gianfranco Zola as Maurizio Sarri's assistant

New Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has refused to rule out the potential exits of Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois from the club this summer.

The 52-year-old helped Chelsea to six honours including two FA Cups and the 1998 European Cup Winners' Cup.

"I don't want to talk about the transfer market and I am not that interested in it".

Though Hazard leaving is very much the worst case scenario, it's best that the club are prepared in case our nightmares become reality. "More than apologies, I hope you will have the chance to get to know better and forget about this very quickly". "I think our task as managers is growing the players that we have".

"Clearly we would always like to keep all the strongest players", said Sarri, who began in English but switched to his native Italian so he did not "say anything wrong".

The one hesitation I have for this deal happening is not only the money that it will cost to sign one player, but the incredibly high expectation placed on Eden Hazard. The former Napoli coach knows he can not change the entire group at Chelsea but, despite bringing £57m Jorginho over with him from Napoli, he has identified central midfield as a key area to improve during the current transfer window.

"Many players still have to come back from the World Cup".

Chelsea's pre-season training began under Sarri's predecessor, Antonio Conte. "They must not be changed".

Former Napoli boss Sarri, who has never won silverware, insisted the only target set by Chelsea was to be competitive this season. Russian billionaire Abramovich has been in dispute with United Kingdom authorities over the lack of a visa renewal.

"I would like a player to be with me on the pitch for four or five days to see what the situation is".

I hope so. A lot depends on the players.

Arsenal will need the full amount they paid for him if Chelsea want to sign him because he is their first choice goalkeeper at the moment even though they have a new manager.

He added: "Our owner is an extremely reserved person, so I don't want to start a work relationship with him by speaking about private things".

"This is a post-World Cup time", said Sarri.

  • Stacy Allen