Roberto Di Matteo has cast doubt on Eden Hazard’s expected £100million transfer to Real Madrid by insisting the transfer may not happen this summer window.
Hazard fears Chelsea will hold on to him against his wish if their two-window transfer ban is upheld by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, SunSport reported.
The Belgian appeared to confirm his exit after the 0-0 draw with Leicester City in which he only played 20 minutes after starting the game on the bench.
But Maurizio Sarri remains hopeful that the 28-year-old will choose to stay at Stamford Bridge rather join Zinedine Zidane’s team in the Spanish capital.
And Di Matteo, who won the Champions League as Chelsea manager in 2012, is adamant his old club will be doing all they can to keep Eden Hazard due to their potential transfer ban.
The Italian, who was Blues boss when they signed the Belgian from Lille in 2012, said: “Who knows about Hazard? Chelsea have a transfer ban so it is going to be very difficult for anybody to leave that they don’t want to leave.
“He’s the player that makes the difference. He can change a game individually and there aren’t many players like that. It would be a real shame to lose a player like that.
“Losing Hazard is not great but I’m not sure it will be that easy for him to leave.
“The club has a transfer ban and letting a top player leave and not being able to replace him, it would be very tough for a top club to buy him.
“Nobody is bigger than the club. It’s understandable that he may want to experience a different league after being in London for seven years but it might not be this summer.”
Maurizio Sarri will win the first trophy of his career if Chelsea are able to defeat Arsenal in the Europa League final in Baku.
The Italian has failed to win over supporters this campaign, with video showing them chanting “f*** Sarriball” earlier this year.
Di Matteo admits that the blues have not been consistent enough this season.
But he insists the season must be counted as a success if they claim silverware having secured Champions League football for next campaign after their third-place finish in the Premier League.
Di Matteo said: “Chelsea had a really good start to the season when they went unbeaten, playing some really good football but then encountered some problems in the winter months.
“I thought they came very good at the end. They’re third in the league and played some good football but not consistent enough.
“If they can win the Europa League that must be a successful season, in my head at least.
“And Sarri’s first trophy, it will be important for him. I think for the players, for the club, you would describe it as a successful season.”
Di Matteo was speaking at former Chelsea goalkeeper Asmir Begovic Foundation Golf Classic.