Sarri discusses Hazard and Higuain strike partnership

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"But in the end they are very personal decisions".

Much has been made of the role provided by another Chelsea forward, Olivier Giroud, as a link-up player with top goalscorer Eden Hazard, but Sarri says the incoming Higuain, who was coached by the Italian for a single season at Napoli in 2015/16, can act as a foil for the midfielder as well as finding the back of the net. "In my first season in Naples, he arrived late for the training camp", Sarri added of Higuain.

Kante has arguably been the most influential signing made by Chelsea since Eden Hazard, having arrived from Leicester City a Premier League victor in the summer of 2016.

Hazard has been linked with a move to Real Madrid over the past year, as Spanish giants continue to search for a replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo.

Real Madrid are confident of securing Eden Hazard's signature for less than £100m if they offer Isco or Marco Asensio to Chelsea FC, according to a report in England.

"I hope I am the football father!"

He said: "After the match against Huddersfield, I was really very happy with the result and performance, but I know now we need consistency".

"But it's up to him, I think. And so, he has to decide".

City lead the table on goal difference from Liverpool, with both sides 12 points clear of Chelsea entering this weekend's fixtures.

"If he said that, I think it's because he's going to extend his contract with Chelsea".

"Also when you see the Belgium squad we have a lot, of course, Belgian players but some from Congo like (Romelu) Lukaku, (Michy) Batshuayi and (Christian) Benteke".

Sarri says he meets Guardiola socially in the off-season, alongside Arrigo Sacchi, the former AC Milan boss. I think he is able to react very well to difficulties.

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