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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 October 2018

Maurizio Sarri happy with 'complete' Chelsea squad and confident Hazard is staying

The Italian pleased with Premier League club's transfer business ahead of new season

Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri. EPA
Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri. EPA

Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri feels his squad is "complete" after the signings of goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga and midfielder Mateo Kovacic earlier this week.

The London club triggered Arrizabalaga's release clause of £71.2 million (Dh333.9m) to sign him from Athletic Bilbao, while Kovacic came in on a season-long loan from Real Madrid.

Arrizabalaga came in after it became clear Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois was interested in a move to Real, which he completed on Thursday.

"I'm very happy for both, because the Courtois situation was clear," Sarri said at his press conference ahead of their Premier League opener at Huddersfield on Saturday.

"He wanted to go to Madrid, so we lost maybe one of the most important goalkeepers in the world now. We bought a young goalkeeper, I think one of the most important amongst the young goalkeepers in Europe.

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"I'm really happy with Kovacic. He has the characteristics for us. I'm really very happy and I think now the squad is complete."

Asked whether playmaker Eden Hazard could yet join international teammate Courtois in Madrid, with the Spanish transfer market open until the end of the month, Sarri added: "Hazard is with us. I think definitely. It's not a problem.

"I have spoken with him three, four times, for everything. He never said something about the market. I think he's very happy to stay here.

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"I think it's impossible. Here the market is closed, so we cannot change important players now. It's impossible."

Sarri was more open to the idea of letting fringe players leave, however.

"Now I think the squad is too large," the Italian admitted.

"So I think some players have to go on loan. I don't know who at the moment. I prefer to have 23, 24 players and three, four, very young players. No more."