Maurizio Sarri says he is unsure whether Eden Hazard is ready to play a full 90 minutes for Chelsea.
Hazard was given an extended break after featuring for finalists Belgium in the World Cup and has come on as a substitute in Chelsea’s two matches this season.
And head coach Sarri suggested at a media conference on Friday that Hazard could start at Newcastle this weekend but that there is some doubt over whether he is fit enough to last the full match.
Sarri said: “I don’t know. I think Eden is ready for 50 or 60 minutes. I don’t know if 90 minutes. But he can start.”
Asked if the player himself feels ready to play a full game, Sarri replied: “Maybe, but I think it’s more important (what is in) my mind.”
Sarri added: “I am happy with him if he wants to play. It’s the right way to think for him, but I have to think for everybody.”
Sarri again reiterated that there is no prospect of Hazard leaving Chelsea before the end of the month.
The 27-year-old has been repeatedly linked with Real Madrid, who can still sign players until the transfer window in Spain closes next week.
Sarri said: “I am the coach of a very good team, a very great club, and so I think it’s such an important player I cannot sell without the possibility to buy another player at the same level, so I think Eden will stay with us for the whole season.”