Sarri on Willian’s future, Hudson-Odoi, Morata, wanting two players and why Christensen has improved
Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri spoke about a number of issues at a media conference ahead of the game against Newcastle. Here’s what the Italian had to say.
On turning 60
“Too many years, I think.”
On Loftus-Cheek and Morata’s injuries
“Of course Loftus-Cheek is out at the moment and yesterday Alvaro had training with the team-mates, so we will have to see in training today. I hope that he will be able to play.”
On Chelsea’s lack of goals
“We need to score, of course. We need to solve this problem.
“In the last match I think we played very well, with continuity, with a very good offensive phase and defensive phase, with a great performance from a physical point of view – the best of the season.
“But we didn’t score and so we now we have this problem and we have to work and try to solve it as soon as possible.”
On Chelsea’s pursuit of Gonzalo Higuain
“As you know very well, I am not involved in the market. I spoke with the club and the club knows very well my opinion.
“In my opinion we need two players and then it depends on the club’s decision, I think.
“But I don’t know anything about the market day by day or minute by minute.”
On which positions the two players would fill
“As you can understand very well, I cannot tell you where.
“The club knows very well my opinion. I think at the moment my opinion is important for the club but of course I cannot tell you 100% of my opinion.”
On Cesc Fabregas
(Speaking before Fabregas’ move to Monaco was confirmed)
“As I said in the last press conference, I think that he needs to go. At the moment, for his mental condition (frame of mind), he is not able to play I think.
“I don’t know the last decision of our club, but at the moment he is not able to play.”
On the need to replace Fabregas
“Oh I need a replacement. But I don’t need an important player like Cesc unhappy here.”
On Bayern Munich’s public pursuit of Callum Hudson-Odoi
“I think it’s not professional, because they are talking about a player under contract with Chelsea. They didn’t respect our club.
“I don’t know the situation. I am really very happy with the player, who is improving a lot. Now he needs to improve in some movements without the ball, but he is working very well at the moment and I would like to have him in the future.”
On Barcelona making an approach for Willian
“I didn’t receive anything. You have to ask the club. I have no idea. You have to call the club and ask about the market.
“If you ask me about the market you put me in trouble because I don’t know how to answer.”
On whether he would be prepared to part with Willian
“Of course not, because Willian for us is really very important.
“I think he can do better because the potential is higher. But he’s really very important for us so I think he’s impossible for us to lose him in January.
“Usually he wants the ball on the feet – always on the feet. So I think he can improve in his movement without the ball. And he has the potential to score more.”
On the transfer window
“I think it’s crazy to have a market window of 30 days at this moment of the season because we play every three days and so we need something else because this is crazy.
“I think the market in January should be one week or 10 days – no more. The summer window is also crazy – for three months. In August we played three Premier League matches (before the window closed).”
“The match is very difficult because they are doing better away. They lost eight matches out of 11 at home but only three out of 10 away, so it’s a difficult opponent.
“I hope of course to score in the first 30 minutes, but we have to be patient. We need to improve in the box and in the last 20-25 metres.”
On whether Andreas Christensen might keep his place
“I don’t know. He played very well and he improved in defending by looking at the ball. So now he is ready to play and I think that we have a very good option.
“I don’t know about tomorrow because he played two matches in three days for the first time this season – the same as Callum (Hudson-Odoi).
“Callum recovered very well from the first match. Yesterday he was a little bit tired but I think that’s normal as he played two matches in three days. I want to see the level of recovery.”
On reports clubs want Alvaro Morata
“Of course if Morata goes to another club we need a replacement. That’s normal.
“At the moment, Morata is here. So I think he has to think only about playing because in this moment in Europe there are 300 players involved in the market and they need to think of the next match.”