Sarri wants Chelsea stars to stay – but says ‘we’ll see’

[/media-credit] Maurizio Sarri pledged to “have fun” as Chelsea boss

Maurizio Sarri says he would like Chelsea to keep their best players but admitted the matter could be out of his hands.

There is speculation over the futures of several Blues stars, including Eden Hazard, Thibaut Courtois, Willian and N’Golo Kante.

Like his predecessor Antonio Conte, Sarri expects to have limited influence on transfers – a set-up which is common in their native Italy.

Speaking at his first media conference since replacing Conte as head coach at Stamford Bridge, Sarri said: “Clearly we would always want to keep all our strongest players.

“This is what any manager wants to do and what any club wants to do. But then we will have to see how the transfer market will go over the next few days.

Several Chelsea players have been linked with moves

“I want to clarify that I am more of a field manager than general manager. I don’t want to talk about the transfer market and am not that interested in it.

“Our task as managers is growing the players we have.”

It has been reported that Sarri planned to telephone the players in question to try to persuade them to stay.

The former Napoli boss insisted that was not the case.

He said: “I don’t think so, honestly, because clearly the players you are referring to are very high-level players and I would like to keep them in my squad, but a telephone call without looking at players in the eye would not give me satisfaction.

“I would like to look at them in the eye and see what is best.”

[/media-credit] Sarri said he would need time to introduce his style of play

Hazard, like keeper Courtois, has been strongly linked with Real Madrid and recently indicated that he would like to move.

“Hazard is a very high-level player and I think one of the top two or three European players,” Sarri said.

“Obviously I would like to have fun with him because this would mean we are having very good results.”

There have also been reports that captain Gary Cahill could move on this summer, with Juventus’ Italy defender Daniele Rugani said to be among Sarri’s transfer targets.

Sarri said Cahill “can still give us a lot” when asked about whether the England centre-back had a future under him at Chelsea.