Eden Hazard and Mateo Kovacic could make their first Chelsea starts against Newcastle on Sunday, head coach Maurizio Sarri confirmed.
Asked if Hazard will start against Newcastle, Sarri said: “I don’t know. I think that Eden is ready for 50-60 minutes. I don’t know for 90 minutes, but he can start.
“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 Mateo and Eden played very well in the last 30 minutes, but I think also that, in that moment, the intensity of the match was going down. But I think, like Eden, Mateo is ready to play for 60 or 65 minutes.”
Sarri also reiterated that there is no chance of Hazard leaving Stamford Bridge for Real Madrid before the close of the Spanish transfer window on Aug. 31.
“I am the coach of a very good team,” he said. “I am the coach of a very great club. And so I think that such an important club cannot sell a very important player without the possibility of buying another very important player at the same level. So I think that Eden will stay with us for all the season.”
Kovacic’s inclusion in the Chelsea matchday squad against Arsenal came at the expense of Ruben Loftus-Cheek, prompting fresh speculation that the academy graduate could leave Stamford Bridge on loan in search of more regular first-team opportunities this month.
“I have spoken with him twice this week, after I spoke with the club,” Sarri said. “So I think that Loftus-Cheek will remain with us. We can speak again about his situation, but I think only in December.”
Support InfoStride News' Credible Journalism: Only credible journalism can guarantee a fair, accountable and transparent society, including democracy and government. It involves a lot of efforts and money. We need your support. Click here to Donate