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Eden Hazard

Sarri: Hazard and Kovacic ready to start for Chelsea

17:03 GMT+3 24/08/2018
Eden Hazard Chelsea
The Blues head coach reiterated that the Belgian star is going nowhere and is ready to return to the starting XI for the trip to Newcastle

Eden Hazard is going nowhere and is ready to start Premier League games for Chelsea, says Maurizio Sarri.

Hazard continues to be linked with leaving Stamford Bridge, with Real Madrid yet to replace Cristiano Ronaldo, and suggested he wanted to move to the Spanish capital this year .

But the winger has since indicated he is happy to stay at Chelsea and Sarri reiterated again  the Belgium international will not be sold .

Hazard has come off the bench in each of Sarri's Premier League games in charge, with the Blues taking maximum points from two matches.

And the 27-year-old could start against Newcastle United on Sunday despite not yet being fit enough to complete a full game.

"I don't know. I think that Eden is ready for 50-60 minutes maybe not for 90 minutes but he can start," Sarri told reporters.

"Maybe [he wants to start] but I think it's more important my mind. I am happy with him, he wants to play. I think it's the right way to think for him, but I have to think for everybody.

"I think I am the coach of a very good team, a very great club, so I think it's so important for him to not be sold without the possibility to buy another important player of the same level, so I think Eden will stay with us for all the season."

Sarri suggested Mateo Kovacic, who has joined the club on loan from Real Madrid, may also be ready to start against Newcastle but the coach is unsure whether Chelsea can complete a permanent deal for the Croatia midfielder.

"Mateo and Eden played very well in the last 30 minutes [against Arsenal] but I think also that in that moment the intensity of the match was going down," Sarri added. "But I think like Eden it's possible for him to play for 60-65 minutes."

Of a permanent Kovacic deal, Sarri said: "I think now it is very difficult to say, I like him very much so I hope that he will remain here in the future."