Maurizio Sarri wants to keep Eden Hazard and is looking forward to working with him at Chelsea, cooling speculation linking the Belgium international with a move away from Stamford Bridge.
Hazard has been the subject of media reports suggesting Real Madrid are interested in taking him to LaLiga before the start of the 2018-19 season as a replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo, but Sarri indicated the 27-year-old is very much in his plans.
He also compared Hazard with Napoli attacker Dries Mertens, who became one of the Partenopei's most prolific goal-scorers under Sarri's guidance during the last three years.
"Hazard is a very high level player and I think one of the top two or three European players," Sarri told reporters.
Sarri says Eden Hazard is one of the top two or three European players and he is looking forward to having fun working with him in training and on matchdays. He hopes to improve our Belgian, which he says will be difficult considering he is already at such a high level! #SarriCFC— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) July 18, 2018
"I hope that I will manage to improve him. This is very difficult given he has reached a very high level.
"With Mertens it's different. Dries had always been an external striker. Everybody thinks that by necessity he reached a very high level.
"But we are talking about two very high level players. Dries started from lower level. I hope I will improve Hazard too but this is difficult."
Sarri was asked about a number of players linked with moves away from Chelsea and he made it clear that shipping big names out of the club was not on his mind.
The 59-year-old was appointed as Antonio Conte's replacement on Saturday and started working with the players at Chelsea's Cobham training ground this week - without a number of squad members who were recovering after playing at the World Cup.
"I would like to keep them in my squad," he said, when asked about potential approaches for the club's top players.
"A telephone call without looking them in the eyes will not give me any certainty. I would like to meet these players face to face and talk to them and understand what will be best for everyone.
"Before that I would also like a player to come on the pitch for four or five days with me."
|´You know you are not employing the Pope´ - Diamond has sympathy for Cipriani|
|Khedira still committed to Germany|
|Serena Williams reveals what shook her before worst loss of career|
|Burnley 1 Istanbul Basaksehir 0 (after extra time): Cork cracker sends Burnley through|
|Zenit hit eight in extraordinary Europa League fightback|
|Saints get back to winning ways at Wakefield|
|Giants medical team discovered tumour in Brittan Golden´s mouth|
|Maribor 0 Rangers 0: Gerrard´s men book play-off berth with calm clean sheet|
|Sassuolo reel in Marlon from Barcelona|
|Formula One ´very poor´, says Alonso after quitting|
|Brighton to host Southampton in EFL Cup second round|
|Tiger Woods´ caddie tried to pay heckler to leave Firestone|
|Sordet leads Nordea Masters, Olesen overcomes flight woes|
|Mourinho visits Istanbul Basaksehir before Burnley game|
|Iniesta hails ´worldwide sports legend´ Alonso|
|Onus on Ozil to rise above criticism, says ex-Arsenal star Wright|
|Lahm to head Euro 2024 if Germany wins bid|
|Tennis Australia ´extremely disappointed´ with Davis Cup revamp|
|Snedeker shoots 59 at Wyndham, after bogeying his first hole!|
|Lukaku hints at Belgium retirement after Euro 2020|
|Pellegrini rules out West Ham approach for Toure|
|Association of Spanish Footballers fumes at LaLiga´s US agreement|
|Seibold and Bennett hit out at media speculation|
|Cipriani ´truly sorry´ after pleading guilty to common assault|
|Man City´s Roberts makes Girona loan move|
|Davis Cup revamp passed by two-thirds majority vote|
|Pochettino ready to tackle Man City after Wembley NFL|
|Emery ends Arsenal goalkeeper debate with Cech assurance|
|Shastri: India happy to face Stokes in Nottingham|
|Etzebeth returns for Springboks, Pumas include Figallo|
|Two Serie A matches postponed after Genoa bridge collapse|
|Barrett tight-lipped over Manly future due to ´legal reasons´|
|N´Zonzi is better than Malcom - Monchi takes aim at Barca star|
|Sainz to replace Alonso at McLaren|
|Bayliss encourages Stokes to make public apology|
|Oates hat-trick boosts Broncos´ play-off ambitions|
|Emery needs four transfer windows to impact Arsenal – Wright|
|Spain´s LaLiga plans to play regular-season game in U.S.|
|´Dream come true´ for Robertson to earn Bledisloe Cup start|
|LaLiga match set for USA following groundbreaking Relevent deal|
|FIFA rankings: France number one, Croatia and England soar, Germany and Argentina plummet|
|Hansen hails ´big leader´ Whitelock ahead of 100th cap|
|Cipriani pleads guilty to common assault and resisting arrest|
|PSG snap up Kehrer from Schalke|
|Maitland-Niles facing two months out with broken leg|
|Walker backs City squad strength to overcome De Bruyne blow|
|Thomas & Froome skip Vuelta, named in Tour of Britain squad|
|Thurston rules out retirement U-turn|
|Pumas look to build on Jaguares progress in Rugby Championship|
|Super Cup glory will make Atletico strong - Simeone|
|Rugby Championship 2018: True status of Erasmus´ Springboks rebuild to be discovered|
|LaLiga 2018-19: Coutinho ready to be Barca´s next Brazilian superstar|
|Serie A 2018-19: Can Napoli, Roma, Inter or AC Milan overhaul Juventus?|
|Braves survive skirmish, loss of Acuna to top Marlins|
|Robertson handed surprise start, Hodge gets nod for Bledisloe opener|
|MLS Review: Wayne´s World as Rooney inspires DC United, LAFC win|
|Djokovic and Dimitrov survive but Zverev loses in Cincinnati|
|Rain halts Halep as Muguruza´s defence ends and Wozniacki retires|
|Ozil´s racism claims nonsense, says Kroos|
|Malcom lost for words after Camp Nou bow alongside Messi|
|Injured Fowler withdraws from play-off opening Northern Trust|
|Marcelo happy with Madrid squad amid transfer talk|
|Foles isn´t worried about Brady´s handshake snub|
|Eli Manning on Jalen Ramsey´s comments: ´Who?´|
|Cerezo: Atletico´s objective is to reach Champions League final|
|Judge´s recovery taking longer than expected|
|Ronaldo in the past as Casemiro backs Lopetegui after Madrid loss|
|With our ´cojones´ Atletico can beat anyone – Costa revels in Super Cup glory|
|Super Cup loss doesn´t change Real Madrid transfer policy, says Lopetegui|
|Griezmann: Super Cup triumph justifies staying at Atletico|