BAKU: Maurizio Sarri has said he will speak to Chelsea about his future after leading them to the Europa League and thinks he “deserves” to stay with the club.
The Blues beat Arsenal 4-1 in Baku to secure the first major trophy of the Italian’s managerial career after he had also led Chelsea to third place in the Premier League.
He said: “I need to talk to the club and make sure I know what I can do for Chelsea and what Chelsea can do for me. I love the Premier League and I’m lucky I’m at Chelsea but at the end of each season you have to sit down and talk.
“In my opinion, I deserve to stay at Chelsea but my opinion is not enough.”
Sarri’s future has been the subject of debate all season, despite reaching two cup finals – they lost the Carabao Cup on penalties to Manchester City in February – and qualifying for next season’s Champions League.
The former Napoli boss, who has been linked with the vacant Juventus job recently, added: “I have a contract [for another two years]. At the moment, we are talking about nothing.”
Sarri, 60, has spent most of his career managing in the Italian lower leagues before an impressive – albeit trophy-less – three years at Napoli.
He said: “I’m very, very happy but I think the trophy is very important for the club; it’s less important the name of the players, the name of the coach.
“The first half was difficult, match number 64 this season and hot – it was physically difficult to play. I thought we were trying to manage the result. I asked my players to play with more courage, even if they risked losing.”
The Italian says the turning point of the season came in February. Chelsea lost 6-0 to Manchester City to drop down to sixth place with 12 games remaining. Two weeks later they lost the EFL Cup final to City, with Sarri apparently undermined when goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga refused to come off despite appearing to be injured.
But he dealt with the Kepa situation and the Blues only lost two of their final 12 Premier League games to finish third.
Sarri said: “Our feeling was that we deserved to win because we were in trouble in January and February and we acted. In the Premier League, it is not easy to react because the level is very high.
“Something changed at the beginning of February. We lost 6-0 at Manchester City but we started something different.
“At the end, we got the Champions League [place] through the Premier League, we played the final in the League Cup, we qualified [for that final with wins en route] against Liverpool and Tottenham, the finalists of the Champions League, and lost on penalties to Manchester City.”
Chelsea defender David Luiz was full of praise for his manager after the Blues’ first European trophy since 2013.
He said: “We had some ups and downs but we have improved a lot and learned a lot this season. We finished well and won a trophy. It is my third title in Europe with Chelsea, they believe in my game. Sarri is a great guy, a great coach and he deserves this.
“The manager did amazing for this club. I don’t know about speculation, now is the time to talk about the title.”
Eden Hazard conceded he is likely to have played his last game for Chelsea after scoring twice against Arsenal.
The Belgian is entering the final year of his contract at Chelsea, who value Hazard at £130m, but Real Madrid are confident of signing him for no more than £88m.
Hazard had previously said he would reveal his plans for the future following the game in Baku and, after initially being reticent to commit himself, told BT Sport: “I think it’s a goodbye but in football you never know.
“My dream was to play in Premier League, I did this for seven years in one of the biggest clubs in the world so now maybe it’s time for a new challenge.”
Hazard, who has been with Chelsea for seven seasons and won six major honours with the club, has been linked with a move to Spanish giants Real Madrid and added: “I will decide in a few days. My target was to win the trophy, that’s the only thing in my mind.
“I took my decision already, I said that two weeks’ ago. Now it depends on the club, both clubs. I’m just waiting like the fans wait. We’ll know in a couple of days.”
“I think it is a goodbye, but in football you never know. Now maybe it is time for a new challenge.”
Speaking about the game itself, Hazard added: “In the first half both teams had a bit of stress because the final is something big for both teams but when Oli (Giroud) scored I think it was the beginning of a great night.
“We played well second half, they had a few chances at the end when it was 4-1, but we controlled the game and just happy to lift this trophy with the boys.”