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Sarri: $177m too cheap, but hard to keep Hazard

Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri admitted it will be hard to deny Eden Hazard a move to Real Madrid this summer, even if a reported £100 million (S$177m) move is "too cheap" for the forward.

Hazard was in stunning form as the Blues moved up to third in the English Premier League, scoring both goals in a 2-0 win over West Ham yesterday morning (Singapore time). Chelsea are two points clear of Tottenham Hotspur and three ahead of fifth-placed Arsenal in the race for a top-four finish.

Hazard admitted his first goal was "something special" as, after collecting the ball just inside the West Ham half, the Belgium captain jinked past three defenders before coolly slotting home.

However, Chelsea may be forced to cash in on their prized asset as their No. 10 has just over one year left on his contract and has so far refused to extend his deal.


Should they refuse to sell this summer, Chelsea run the risk of losing their top scorer on a free transfer next year.

"It (£100m) is too cheap in this market!" Sarri said.

"I'm sure the club don't want to sell him but, of course, we have to respect his decision. If he wants to have another experience we have to respect it. We will try to convince him, but it is not easy."

The prospect of losing Hazard is even more daunting for Chelsea, as they are banned from signing any new players due to a one-year transfer ban imposed by Fifa.

"From the technical point of view no, not at the moment," added Sarri when asked if Chelsea can cope without the 28-year-old.

"Also because it is impossible to find another Hazard."

Hazard, however, is not swayed by the transfer talk, insisting he is focused solely on delivering Champions League football for Chelsea.

"For now, I want to finish in the top four and do well in the Europa League... Then we will see," he said. - AFP