Sarri offers ‘first impression’ of £71m Chelsea target

Matt Stead

Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri refused to shed light on the future of wantaway goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois after his side’s penalty shoot-out win against Lyon.

Sarri also revealed he expects Eden Hazard to remain at Stamford Bridge after the Belgium international made his first Blues appearance since Russia 2018.

Belgium international Courtois has been reported to have stayed away from the London club following World Cup duty with Belgium amid speculation of a move to Real Madrid.

“I don’t know in this moment,” Sarri told a press conference after Chelsea’s 5-4 win on penalties at Stamford Bridge when asked of Courtois’ future.

“I want to speak with my club and then we will decide about it. I am here to talk about this match.”

Chelsea are reported to have sealed a world record £71million deal for Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, but Sarri refused to be drawn on any details of the potential signing.

“If I don’t know anything about Courtois, I don’t know anything about Kepa, of course!” the Italian said.

When pressed on 23-year-old Kepa, Sarri added: “I saw him one year ago. My first impression was that he is a very good goalkeeper, very young, but very, very good.”