Maurizio Sarri gives his take on precarious situation surrounding Chelsea midfielder

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Chelsea's handling of older players is a thing that the Blues management has always maintained.

The Blues come into the game off the back of a 2-1 win over Watford on Boxing Day.

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However, the Belgium international's situation at the west London club continues to be a source of speculation, with the midfielder's current contract at the club due to expire in the summer of 2020. Cesc Fabregas is set to be a free agent at the end of the season and has been linked with leaving to join a number of European clubs in January in search of more regular playing time.

I don't understand why you would want to do that.

"But I don't know the past so I can't say anything". But if he is able to play like he did in the last match in the centre, then for me it is not a problem to put him in the centre.

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"But for me it's very important and if Cesc will go I think that we need to buy another player, and it's not easy because, technically, Cesc is a very important player".

Chelsea have a policy to only offer one-year contract extensions to players over 30, which could be hindering them from locking down players like Fabregas.

"It's a rule and so we have to respect that".

Asked about whether Hazard will remain with the club in his pre-match media conference ahead of Chelsea's Premier League clash with Crystal Palace, Sarri said: "I don't know but it's time to decide".

Hazard's brace secured a vital 2-1 win for Maurizio Sarri's side, opening up a two point lead over fifth-placed Arsenal in the race for Champions League qualification, and Brazilian global Willian was "happy" for the 27-year-old after his landmark goal.

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