New Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri says Eden Hazard is going nowhere with Real Madrid set to swoop

Eden Hazard is still a Chelsea player, but for how much longer? (AFP)
Updated 10 August 2018
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New Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri says Eden Hazard is going nowhere with Real Madrid set to swoop

  • New Blues boss Sarri wants star man to stay at Stamford Bridge.
  • Belgium playmaker has intimated he would like a move to Real Madrid.

Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri believes his squad is “complete” following the arrivals of Kepa Arrizabalaga and Mateo Kovacic, and said he does not expect Eden Hazard to leave the club before the European transfer deadline on Aug. 31.
Chelsea broke the world record fee for a goalkeeper when they signed Arrizabalaga from Athletic Bilbao for €80 million ($91 million), before securing a season-long loan deal for midfielder Kovacic from Real Madrid.
Spanish media have reported Hazard as a transfer target for Real Madrid throughout the close season.
When asked about the prospect of a foreign team making a move for Chelsea players, Sarri said: “It’s impossible because, here, the market is closed. We cannot change important players now.
“Hazard is with us. I think, definitely. Not a problem. I have spoken with him three or four times for everything. He never said something about the market, so I think he’s very happy to stay here.”
Arrizabalaga has the daunting task of replacing World Cup Golden Glove winner Thibaut Courtois, who established himself as one of the finest goalkeepers in the Premier League after arriving at Stamford Bridge in 2011.
Sarri conceded Arrizabalaga will need time to adapt to the English game but praised Chelsea for acquiring “one of the most important” young goalkeepers in Europe.
“I’m very happy for both because Courtois’ situation was clear,” Sarri said.
“He wanted to go to Madrid so we lost maybe one of the most important goalkeepers in the world. But we bought a young goalkeeper, one of the most important among the young goalkeepers in Europe, so I’m really happy.
“(Also) for Kovacic, because he has the right characteristics for us. He is a very technical player who can play between the lines of the opponent. I’m very happy and now I think the squad is complete.”
Chelsea will kick off their league campaign against Huddersfield Town at the John Smith’s Stadium on Saturday.


Virat Kohli savors first India win over Australia Down Under for a decade

Updated 10 December 2018
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Virat Kohli savors first India win over Australia Down Under for a decade

  • India's last triumph on Australian soil at the WACA in Perth in 2008
  • Kohli confident win sets tourists up for a series win.

ADELAIDE: Virat Kohli said it was “very special” to captain India to their first Test win in Australia for a decade and gave his side crucial momentum in their bid for a maiden series victory.
The visitors won a tightly-contested opening Test in Adelaide by 31 runs on the fifth day after setting Australia a target of 323, which would have been a record run chase at the ground.
It was a big breakthrough for Kohli’s men, with their last triumph on Australian soil at the WACA Ground in Perth in 2008. In Adelaide, their sole previous win was in 2003.
“Obviously it’s a great feeling. We’ve never taken a lead in a series in Australia, something that for us is a huge boost,” he said.
“And it’s given us the right momentum that we needed to play a big series like this and it’s something that we’ve had to work hard for.
“Any Test victory is special because you work hard over five days, and then the physical and the mental toil and the emotion of it all comes together in a result is a very special feeling.”
Kohli, who has long led India’s batting charge with admirable consistency across all three formats but failed to fire in Adelaide, said he believed his team collectively were better than Australia and deserved to win.
The victory was built on Cheteshwar Pujara’s first innings 123 and his second innings 71, while wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant took a world record-equalling 11 catches.
“It was priceless from Pujara, we were down and out at lunch on day one. His grit and determination brought us back in it,” said Kohli.
“We always knew that runs on the board would make the home side tentative. Any lead was gold and we got 15. In the second innings again, he and Rahane batted well.”
Asked if thought 323 would be enough to win, Kohli said his middle and lower order could have done better after a five for 25 collapse at the end of the second innings.
“We could have added another 30-35 runs more which could have taken the game totally beyond Australia,” he said.
“So these are things that we have to think about going to Perth, but if someone had told me before the series that I would be 1-0 up as soon we started the series, I would have taken it with both hands.”
The second Test starts on Friday in Perth, with Melbourne and Sydney to follow.