Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri has urged the Chelsea board to sort out Eden Hazard’s future once and for all.
Hazard has been continually linked with a move to Real Madrid and he revealed early this season that he was torn between signing a new Chelsea contract and moving to Real Madrid.
Hazard’s contract expires in the summer of 2020. He said this week that he wished to become a Chelsea legend but later added he wants to wait until the end of the season before making a decision over his future.
Chelsea are desperate to keep Hazard and are prepared to pay him in excess of £300,000 per week but it is believed Hazard wants to ensure Chelsea finishes in Champions League places and wants to see progress from the club in the transfer market before signing a new contract.
Sarri believes the uncertainty surrounding Hazard’s future is disrupting the club’s future planning and thinks it’s time for Hazard to make a decision on his future.
Asked if he will sit down with Hazard to thrash out his future, Sarri said: “I don’t know but I think it is time to decide.
“I have not the power to do this. I am the coach. I am not the president and not in charge of the market. I only speak to him about the position on the pitch. I think we have to solve the problem if we want to programme the future.”
Hazard has been used as a striker in our last four Premier League games and has scored three times playing as a false nine but he complained this week that he prefers playing as a winger.
Sarri successfully converted Dries Mertens from a winger to a striker during his time as Napoli boss but Hazard believes he is more of a playmaker compared to Mertens who is suited to playing as a striker because he just wants to stay in the box.
Speaking ahead of Chelsea’s Premier League clash with Crystal Palace on Sunday, Sarri insisted he would continue to use Hazard as a false nine
“He can play as a winger, or he is able to play in the centre,” Sarri said. “I am really very happy with him in this position, he can score but can open space for team-mates, and come to play with the team-mates.
“I am very happy with his position. But in the future he can play as a winger of course.
“It depends on the moment [whether Hazard plays as false nine]. At the moment we need to be solid. Hazard in this position I think we can be more solid, it is a good option in the defensive phase.
“It depends on the moment. Maybe in the future we will be able to play with a striker and Hazard together, it is not a big problem for us I think.”
“I was really confident [he would score more]. He is a great player, one of the most important in Chelsea’s history. I was really confident he would be able to score more,” Sarri added.
“I cannot see the problem of Hazard in this role. He played four matches as false number nine, scored three goals and two assists, so I am not able to see a problem.”