Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri says the £100m price tag touted for Eden Hazard is too cheap, but admits he is powerless to keep him at Chelsea.
Hazard shone with both goals in Chelsea’s 2-0 win over West Ham to send them third in the Premier League, hours after it was reported by Sky Sports News that Real Madrid were increasingly confident of signing the Belgian in the summer.
Sarri says keeping Hazard will be difficult, but he believes in the current market the forward is worth more than £100m.
He told Sky Sports: “£100m is too cheap, in this market it’s too cheap. We have seen in the last market window every price I think. So I think it is really very hard to change Hazard with another player.”
Asked what power he has to keep Hazard at the club, Sarri conceded: “I cannot do anything [to keep him], because the club agrees with me, but if Eden wants to make another experience, it is very difficult to keep him, I think.
“[We will try to persuade him] that we are trying to improve, to become one of the best teams in England, and as a consequence in Europe, but I think I have to respect his decision.”
Speaking to Sky Sports after the game, Hazard himself was asked if the West Ham fans’ chants of “He’s off to Madrid” were true, but he moved to settle concerns.
“They are wrong. I’m just focused with Chelsea until the end of the season. I just want to finish in the top four and win the Europa League. We still have a lot to do, and then we will see.
“Now we are in a good momentum. We’ve won three in a row and for the mentality it’s good to keep going like that. Top four is our target, winning the Europa League is our challenge, so we have to keep fighting on both fronts. We can do it.”
Hazard, who has now scored 19 goals in all competitions this season, scored a goal-of-the-season contender to open the scoring, picking the ball up from deep before taking on three West Ham players and finishing superbly.