The Blues boss would prefer to see a more flexible approach his club’s policy to only offer older players one year contracts
Maurizio Sarri says that he would change Chelsea’s policy of offering over-30 players one-year deals if he were in charge of contracts at the club.
Chelsea face losing Cesc Fabregas to Monaco in the transfer window due to their inability to offer more than a one-year contract to the 31-year-old, as the Ligue 1 club prepare to offer him two-and-a-half years.
The length of a contract is key for many players over 30 but Chelsea’s policy dictates that players over this age are only allowed to be offered one-year contracts.
David Luiz is also in the same situation as Fabregas, with his contract expiring at the end of this season, and his future is not secured despite his starring role in defence. Sarri says that if he owned Chelsea, he would judge it on a case-by-case basis.
“I haven’t a club so my opinion is not important. My opinion is it depends on the situation, I think. The situation is not the same for every player over 30 so its my opinion,” Sarri told reporters at Cobham Training Centre.”If you are able to buy Chelsea we can discuss [changing it].”
Sarri had earlier spoken about how he will allow Fabregas to leave, as he doesn’t want unhappy players in his dressing room, but that the deal isn’t yet complete to see the former Arsenal man move to join up with his former team-mate Thierry Henry.
Chelsea now prepare to face Tottenham in the semi-final of the Carabao Cup and the game at Wembley Stadium may bring back memories of the Blues’ worst defeat of the season. Spurs ran out 3-1 winners in the Premier League match back in November, dominating Chelsea throughout.
“After the match in the Premier League I realised the real situation so, of course, now this match is more important. I saw my players in the dressing room after the match,” Sarri added. “They were destroyed so I realised that the match against Tottenham is a very important match for the club, the fans and the players as well.
“They needed only to realise why the match was so bad and it was really very easy because the video of the first 15 minutes was clear. There was a big different in mentality, aggressiveness and determination, so it was clear.
“Clear for me and also for the players. The match was really strange I think because it was a match after the international break and probably we were not able to arrive to the match with the right mentality and focus. It can happen but now we need to play another match.
“Here everything is really very difficult. If you think in the League Cup we played against Liverpool, now we have to play Tottenham. In an eventual final probably against Manchester City. It is like playing in the Champions League I think for the League Cup.
“So here everything is really, really very difficult. The level of opponent is a really high level. The level of determination is now good, but we have to solve some problems of course. Sometimes during the match we were not able to have the right reaction to the difficulties to negative situation.
“In the last match we were not able to have the right reaction to a positive situation because after the second goal we conceded four shots on goal in two minutes. So we need to learn that we cannot lower the application in the defensive phase.”
Like Sarri, Mauricio Pochettino is regarded as one of the world’s best coaches, but the duo are both yet to win major honours as managers.
In fact, Tottenham have not won a major honour for a decade and Pochettino’s side are now desperate to take advantage of their best team in a generation by winning silverware. The upcoming semi-final will offer a great opportunity for silverware for those involved and Sarri thinks that Pochettino could do with capitalising.
“I agree [that he needs to win something] because he is a very good coach,” Sarri continued. “One of the best at the moment. I agree he has to win a trophy, [but] I hope not this. I think it is the same of course but Pochettino is in Tottenham for four years and I am here from six months.
“I think that here in the first season it is really very difficult for everybody, for Pochettino, four years, for Klopp, four years, it was really very hard in the first season also for Guardiola so here it is really very difficult to build up a very good team. You need time.”