Sarri eyes new midfield signing before transfer deadline

Maurizio Sarri Chelsea 2018-19Getty Images

Maurizio Sarri hopes Chelsea sign at least one midfielder before the transfer window closes, but the coach does not expect the club to be busy ahead of Thursday's deadline.

The former Napoli boss has previously said he isn't interested in the transfer market and is hoping to keep a number of first team stars such as Eden Hazard, Willian and Thibaut Courtois, who were linked with moves away.

Chelsea have only signed Jorginho for their first team so far this summer after securing him for £57m (€65m/$86m) from Napoli on the same day Sarri was unveiled as head coach.

Although the 59-year-old has told the club what type of player he wants, he has no names in mind as the transfer period nears its end.

"I talk with the club about the market but only one or maybe two times, not more. I spoke about positions and characteristics but no names," Sarri told reporters. "So, I don’t know. I think we need something, but maybe only a player.

"We have very good midfielders, but maybe a midfielder with different characteristics [would be a good fit]."

Sarri has met both Roman Abramovich and the club's director Marina Granovskaia, but his approach to transfers is much more hands off than predecessor Antonio Conte's was.

The Italian's first game in charge of the Blues sees them take on Pep Guardiola's Manchester City in the Community Shield at Wembley on Sunday, pitting Sarri against the coach he sees as "the best in the world".

Sarri hopes to remain at Stamford Bridge for a long time and knows he will have to beat Guardiola's dominant side to silverware if he is to make his goal a reality.

"I want to stay here for 10 years, then I have to win. Then it depends on the club, but I want to stay here for a long time," Sarri said. "It is very difficult in this moment. It is a very difficult match.

"Of course, we can try to reduce the gap in the Premier League with work. My job is to try to improve my players and so we will have to work towards this target, to reduce the gap. Guardiola told me that here in England it is very difficult.

"The level is very high, so he had some problems in his first season but he said that football is football everywhere. I think it is very important to start with a trophy. At this moment of the season it is no more important. It is important also to step forward. For me, clearly, it is important to win something."