Sarri says Chelsea must respect Hazard's decision on his future

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The Blue's boss praised his midfielder's contribution to the club but said the ball was in his court regarding a move away

Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has expressed his hope that talisman Eden Hazard will remain with the club, but believes the final decision rests with the player.

Sarri spoke after a 0-0 draw with Leicester City that saw Chelsea clinch third place in the Premier League after securing automatic qualification for next year’s Champions League last week.

Hazard started Sunday’s game on the bench, though he did enter after 68 minutes, with Sarri saying the move was made because of the midfielder’s exhaustion after a long season. 

“Eden was tired today so he was on the bench,” the Italian told Sky Sports .

“We tried to win with him later in the last 25 minutes."

Sarri then discussed Hazard's future, saying that he has earned the right to decide where he wants to play though the manager hopes he ultimately chooses to stay at Stamford Bridge.

He added: “I think Eden has played here in Chelsea for seven seasons, trying in every match to do his best and now it’s time to respect his decision, but I hope he will remain with us.”

Sarri said his first season in England had been good, but that it could be wonderful with a Europa League title.

Chelsea play Arsenal in the final in Baku on May 29, and could see a tumultuous season end with silverware.

“This season is good. We were in trouble two or three months ago but third place is a very good result.

“Now we have to go to Baku for the Europa League final and we have the chance for our season to be wonderful.”

Maurizio Sarri Chelsea Leicester

Sarri’s side also made the final of the Carabao Cup final this year, losing on penalties to Manchester City.

Before they conclude their season with a last chance to lift some silverware the Blues must travel to the United States for a game with the New England Revolution.

The charity match dubbed ‘The Final Whistle on Hate’ will be played in Massachusetts on Wednesday and Chelsea announced this week they will travel with a full-strength squad.

Sarri admitted that his players needed rest ahead of the showdown with the Gunners, but also that he thought the game was in a worthy cause.

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Proceeds from the clash at the Gillette Stadium will go to a wide range of anti-discrimination charities.

“It’s a double feeling. I’m happy because we go there for a good reason.

“As a coach I am worried because we are tired and we need to rest.”

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