Maurizio Sarri says it is time to decide Eden Hazard's Chelsea future
By Joe Shread
Last Updated: 28/12/18 5:00pm
Maurizio Sarri has urged Eden Hazard and Chelsea to come to an agreement over his future and end speculation that he will leave Stamford Bridge.
Hazard has a year and a half remaining on his Chelsea contract, and has openly discussed pursuing what he described as a "dream" move to Real Madrid.
The forward said after the Blues' 2-1 win at Watford on Wednesday that he wanted to hold on until the end of the season to make a decision on his future, but Sarri does not want to wait.
He said: "I think we have to solve the problem. If we want to plan the future, we have to solve this problem.
"I don't know [what Hazard is thinking], but I think that it's time to decide."
However, Sarri said speaking to Hazard about his future was outside of his remit, explaining: "I have not the power to do this.
"I am the coach. I want to speak to him only about the position on the pitch."
Hazard is Chelsea's top scorer this season with 12 goals from 22 matches, and is currently on course to beat his record tally for the club, which was 19 goals in the 2014/15 season.
Sarri is not surprised by the Belgian's improved goal-scoring form, however, saying: "I was really confident because he is a great player, one of the most important of Chelsea's history. So I was really confident that he was able to score more."
Hazard has been deployed as a false nine in Chelsea's last four Premier League matches, despite his insistence that he prefers to play as a winger on the left of the Blues' attack.
Sarri is determined to keep playing the 27-year-old in a more central role, though, adding: "I am very happy with him in this role.
"I don't know if he prefers to play as a winger or as a striker, but if he is able to play like the last match in the centre, it is not a problem for me to put him in the centre.
"I cannot see the problem of Hazard in this role. He played four matches as a false number nine, and he scored three goals and two assists. So I cannot see the problem.
"It depends on the moment. At this moment we need to be solid, and with Hazard in this position I think we can become more solid. It's a good option also for the defensive phase.
"Maybe in the future we will be able to play with a striker and Hazard together."