Maurizio Sarri insisted that £100 million is “too cheap” for Chelsea to sell Eden Hazard to Real Madrid this summer, but added that the club must respect the Belgian’s decision if he wants to leave.
Hazard scored twice to cap an individual masterclass as Chelsea beat West Ham 2-0 at Stamford Bridge to move back into the Champions League qualification places, with his first goal — a jinking solo run through the visiting defence — prompting many to again herald him as the best player in the Premier League.
Sources told ESPN FC in March that Chelsea fear there is nothing they can do to prevent Hazard joining Madrid this summer as he enters the final year of his contract, and Sarri’s comments after the West Ham victory indicated that he is resigned to losing his superstar winger.
“I cannot do anything,” Sarri told Sky Sports when asked what he can do to convince Hazard to stay at Chelsea. “The club agrees with me, but if Eden wants to make another experience it’s very difficult to keep him I think.
“We are trying to improve, to become one of the best teams in England and in Europe, but I have to respect his decision.”
Asked what he thought of the reported figure of £100m for Hazard, Sarri replied: “Too cheap. In this market, it’s too cheap.
“I have no idea [what he should cost], but we have seen in the last windows every price I think. It’s really very hard to change Hazard with another player.”
Hazard himself was keen to downplay talk of his future after the match.
“They are wrong!” he said when asked about West Ham supporters chanting that he is set to join Madrid. “For now I am just focusing on Chelsea until the end of the season. We are in good momentum. We have won three in a row.
“For the mentality, it is good to keep going. Top four and the Europa League is our target so we need to do well in both.”
On the subject of his spectacular first goal, the Belgian smiled and added: “It was something special. I took the ball and then I tried to move forward. In the box it was hard for the defender to challenge me because if he touches me it could be a penalty.
“I was maybe a little lucky with the shot. I wanted to shoot quickly. When I saw the ball in the net I was just so happy. I am small so it is good when I play against tall players as it’s very hard for them to change direction.”