Maurizio Sarri speaks out on Thibaut Courtois behaviour before Real Madrid move
Maurizio Sarri believes personal reasons were behind Thibaut Courtois decision to force through a transfer move to Real Madrid.
Courtois was heavily linked with the La Liga giants all summer and went on strike in the lead-up to the 2018/19 campaign, meaning Chelsea had to find a replacement for the 26-year-old goalkeeper.
The Blues subsequently signed Kepa Arrizabalaga, 23, from Athletic Bilbao for a world-record £71.6million fee, and Courtois got his wish as Madrid reached an agreement for the Belgian.
Courtois two Madrid-based children were a major factor behind him pushing for a move to the Spanish capital and Sarri refused to blame the shot-stopper for going AWOL towards the end of the transfer window.
Asked about Courtois behaviour, Sarri responded: I dont know. I think there were some personal reasons, so I cannot go on personal reasons.
[Eden] Hazard is with us. It is not a problem, I have spoken with his three or four times. He never said anything about the market. He is happy to stay here.
Kepa has a tough task in replacing Courtois at Stamford Bridge and Sarri urged supporters to be patient with the young Spaniard.
Asked if Kepa can be as good as Courtois, Sarri replied: Not at the moment for sure, but he is very young. He is 23.
I hope he can improve very fast. But for the moment he is not Courtois, of course.
[Mateo] Kovacic is a very technical player, play between the lines of the opponent and I think for us it could be very important.