Maurizio Sarri is yet to decide if Kepa Arrizabalaga will start Chelsea’s midweek Premier League clash with Tottenham, but insists the club “don’t want to kill” their goalkeeper following his act of defiance in the Carabao Cup final.
The Spain international refused to be substituted at Wembley Stadium on Sunday despite being beckoned to the touchline after receiving treatment.
Sarri had been eager to replace the 24-year-old with Willy Caballero towards the end of extra-time and eventually saw his side miss out on major silverware as they suffered a 4-3 penalty shootout defeat to Manchester City.
Kepa’s decision to ignore the wishes of his manager has been widely condemned, despite those inside the Chelsea camp trying to brush the issue off as a “misunderstanding”.
The most expensive keeper in world football has been fined for his actions and it remains to be seen whether he will be thrust straight back into the Blues fold when they welcome London rivals Spurs to Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.
When asked about that selection call, Sarri told reporters: “I don’t know, I have to decide yes or no.
“I think [he is fit], he only had a recovery yesterday but I think so. It will be the decision of the group, of all the players.”
Sarri added on his discussions with Kepa since seeing his instructions waved away: “I spoke to Kepa, I spoke to everyone. He said sorry to the technical staff, but it was not enough.
“He said sorry to the players and the club. We don’t want to kill him.
“It was a big misunderstanding.”
It has been suggested by some that Chelsea’s senior stars should have made sure that Kepa left the field once his number was up.
Sarri is not convinced that is the case as many of those on the pitch were as confused as to what was happening as those on the bench.
The Italian said: “It was really a very unusual situation so the players were very shocked.
“It was impossible to react immediately.”
Asked who had taken the decision to sanction Kepa, Sarri added: “It was the club.
“At this club there are some rules so he has to accept the club’s decision.”