Maurizio Sarri gives N'Golo Kante '50-50' chance of being fit for Chelsea in Europa League final
Last Updated: 29/05/19 11:08am
Chelsea head coach Maurizio Sarri gives N'Golo Kante a "50-50" chance of being fit to face Arsenal in the Europa League final as the midfielder continues his recovery from a knee injury.
Having missed Chelsea's previous two games with a hamstring strain, Kante had returned to training but injured his knee on Saturday as Sarri prepared his players for Wednesday's final in Baku.
Chelsea are already without Ruben Loftus-Cheek, whose season was ended by an Achilles injury, which potentially leaves them with only three fit central midfielders in Jorginho, Mateo Kovacic and Ross Barkley.
"He has a very little problem with his knee," Sarri said on Tuesday. "The problem is the timing. We have only four days. We are trying.
"At the moment, we don't know [if he will be fit]. We will try until the last moment.
"I think [his chances are] 50-50 at the moment. Yesterday 60-40 no, today 50-50. He was a little bit better this morning, but 50-50."
'I love my players'
Despite Chelsea securing Champions League football for next season with a third-place Premier League finish, speculation has mounted over whether Sarri will remain at the club next season.
The Italian faced regular criticism from the club's supporters throughout the second half of the season, while there remains heavy interest in his service from Serie A, with Sarri said to be at the top of Juventus' list of replacements for the recently departed Massimiliano Allegri.
While the Italian refused to talk directly about his future, insisting that his focus is on Wednesday's final, he revealed that the development of his relationship with his squad would make any decision a challenging one.
"At the beginning of the season, it was really very difficult to understand my players, to understand their mentality," Sarri said. "But after a very difficult month in January, in February they started to change I think, or probably I changed, I don't know.
"In this moment, I love them, because I have 22 wonderful men and wonderful players, so now I'm really very happy with them and of course I have to consider it for the future.
"And I have to consider that I love English football, I love the Premier League."
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