Eden Hazard "has to leave" Chelsea in the near future if he is serious about a career away from west London, according to the club's manager Maurizio Sarri.
The 28-year-old has been flirting with a move to Real Madrid for a number of years and is now being tipped to fill the void left by Cristiano Ronaldo at the Santiago Bernabéu.
"The situation of Eden is different," Sarri said, quoted by FourFourTwo. "Eden is 28. If he wants to go, I think he has to go.
"Of course, I hope the opposite. I hope he wants to stay here with us and improve. He has the potential to be the best player in Europe at the moment. Sometimes he's happy with something less."
Hazard's future wasn't the only thing on Sarri's agenda ahead of their match against Bournemouth in the Premier League on Wednesday. The Italian also opened up about Callum Hudson-Odoi's plans after the teenager was the subject of a number of transfer bids from German champions Bayern Munich.
"Of course, he's a very great player," Sarri added. "He will become one of the best in Europe also in another team, but he has to respect the work of the academy coaches, I think.
"We will be patient with him because he's a boy from the academy. I don't know if, at another club, people would be patient with him after five or six matches.
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"He has a very great future here in England, with the national team and Chelsea. To stay here is better for him." - Sarri on Hudson-Odoi What do you guys think - should he stay or go? 🤔 - - - #hudsonodoi #chelsea #youth #prospect #cfc #90min #football #baller #bundesliga #pl #premierleague
"It's very difficult to go to another country and adapt immediately or play very well immediately. That's a difficult situation. It's better for him to try and improve here. But that's my opinion. I may not be right."