August 24, 2018 / 5:08 PM / a month ago

Soccer: Sarri expects Loftus-Cheek to stay at Chelsea at least until January

(Reuters) - Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri said Ruben Loftus-Cheek will stay at the Premier League club at least until January after holding two rounds of talks with the English midfielder.

Soccer Football - World Cup - Third Place Play Off - Belgium v England - Saint Petersburg Stadium, Saint Petersburg, Russia - July 14, 2018 England's Ruben Loftus-Cheek reacts REUTERS/Michael Dalder

Loftus-Cheek was left out of the squad when Sarri’s Chelsea overcame Arsenal 3-2 last weekend to maintain their winning start to the league campaign.

British media reported that the 22-year-old could go out on loan for a second consecutive season, having been at Crystal Palace last year, with a number of clubs in Spain, Germany and France interested in signing the player before the deadline on Aug. 31.

When asked about Loftus-Cheek’s future at the club, Sarri said: “I have spoken with him twice this week after I spoke with the club. So I think that Loftus will remain with us.

“We can speak again about his situation, but I think only in December (before the January transfer window).”

“(Against Arsenal) it was only a decision about the positions. I chose to put on the bench two wingers and only one midfielder.”

Sarri also expects playmaker Eden Hazard to stay at Stamford Bridge, adding that the Belgian is in contention to start the league match at Newcastle United on Sunday.

“Eden is ready for 50-60 minutes. I don’t know for 90 minutes, but he can start,” the Italian added.

“He wants to play. It’s the right way to think for him, but I have to think for everybody.

“I am the coach of a very great club. It’s so important that such an important club cannot sell a very important player without the possibility to buy another very important player at the same level.”

With a victory at Newcastle, Sarri could become the fifth Chelsea manager to win his opening three Premier League matches, after Antonio Conte, Carlo Ancelotti, Guus Hiddink and Jose Mourinho.

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge

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