Real Madrid are expected to make a new bid of €120 million (£106 million) to sign Eden Hazard in the next few days.
Hazard confirmed after Wednesday’s 4-1 Europa League final victory over Arsenal, which represented the first trophy Sarri has won as a coach, that “I think it’s goodbye” after seven years at Chelsea, although he did add: “But in football, you never know.”
The 28-year-old wanted to leave Chelsea for Madrid last year but was told he would not be sold. However, Chelsea are due to realise the fee they set, believed to be £100 million, as Madrid want to complete the deal quickly. Hazard has told Chelsea that he wants to go and will not sign a new contract and therefore would leave for free next summer, if they attempt to hold him.
If the transfer goes ahead it will end a long-running saga, given Hazard has expressed a desire to leave on two other occasions, and will still represent a good price for a player who would be going into the final year of his contract.
The added complication for Chelsea is the looming two-window Fifa transfer ban, although there remains the possibility of the club applying to the Court of Arbitration for Sport to suspend the punishment while an appeal takes place.