Garth Crooks admits he cannot see Maurizio Sarri being able to keep hold of Chelsea forward Eden Hazard amid transfer interest from Real Madrid.
Numerous outlets have linked the Belgium international with the Spanish giants for close to a year now, with the player yet to sign a new contract at Stamford Bridge.
With Hazard’s current deal due to expire at the end of next season, this puts Chelsea in a very worrying position indeed, especially with the 28-year-old quoted by ESPN recently as admitting a move to Real Madrid was a dream.
Crooks praised Hazard’s performance in the win over Huddersfield Town this weekend, but added, on a rather negative note, that he could not see the player being persuaded to remain with the club for much longer.
‘Now Chelsea have installed a proper centre-forward in Gonzalo Higuain and allowed Eden Hazard to play his natural game (which roughly translated means he can do whatever he wants) the Blues look more like the team we saw at the start of the season,’ Crooks told BBC Sport.
‘The issue for Sarri is, can he keep Hazard, 28, from moving to Real Madrid at the end of the season? Sadly I think not.’
With Sarri finding the job at Stamford Bridge hard enough this season, the potential loss of Hazard in the summer would be another big blow for the Italian tactician as he seeks to get the Blues back to their best after a difficult couple of years since their 2016/17 title win.