Callum Hudson-Odoi will be at Chelsea next season, says Maurizio Sarri
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By Joe Shread
Last Updated: 29/03/19 7:01pm
Callum Hudson-Odoi will still be at Chelsea next season despite his unwillingness to sign a new contract at Stamford Bridge, says Maurizio Sarri.
The 18-year-old winger's Chelsea contract expires at the end of next season, and he turned down the offer of a new £85,000-per-week deal earlier this season.
Bayern Munich had several bids for Hudson-Odoi rejected during the January transfer window, and he will be able to leave on a free transfer at the end of next season as things stand.
However, Sarri does not believe Hudson-Odoi will be sold in the summer, regardless of whether he agrees a new deal, saying: "I think so [that he will stay].
"I am not able to say if he is going to sign a new contract, but I think he will stay here with us in every case."
Hudson-Odoi made his debut and his first start for England during the international break, helping them to a 5-0 win over the Czech Republic and a 5-1 victory in Montenegro.
He received praise for his display in Podgorica, but when asked whether he was watching at home, Sarri said: "Only 20 minutes because I had 14 players in the national teams. I had no time to watch 20 matches.
"I saw the English national team for 20 minutes and Callum didn't start very well on the right. He did very on the left, immediately in his first action. But I know very well he prefers to play on the left."
Remarkably Hudson-Odoi's first start for England, against Montenegro, came before his first start in the Premier League for Chelsea.
However, Sarri insists he is managing the teenager's progression correctly, insisting: "He started a lot of matches - probably not in the Premier League, but that's by chance.
"It's not a problem for me to put him the in starting XI in a Premier League match. He's ready, but I can play only with two wingers. In the squad we have (Eden) Hazard, Willian, Pedro, so it's not very easy to start every match here.
"In the near future he will start in 75 or 80 per cent of the matches. In the last season Callum was only 17 and he played three or four matches. In this season, he is only 18 and at the moment he has played I think 19 or 20 matches.
"I think the evolution is the right evolution. Probably he will play 30 or 35 matches in the next season, so I think with Callum we are on the right path."