Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri refuses to discuss the future of Thibaut Courtois

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Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri refused to shed light on the future of wantaway goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois after his side’s penalty shoot-out win against Lyon.

Sarri also revealed he expects Eden Hazard to remain at Stamford Bridge after the Belgium international made his first Blues appearance since Russia 2018.

Belgium international Courtois has been reported to have stayed away from the London club following World Cup duty with Belgium amid speculation of a move to Real Madrid.

“I don’t know in this moment,” Sarri told a press conference after Chelsea’s 5-4 win on penalties at Stamford Bridge when asked of Courtois’ future.

“I want to speak with my club and then we will decide about it. I am here to talk about this match.”

Chelsea are reported to have sealed a world record £71million deal for Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, but Sarri refused to be drawn on any details of the potential signing.

“If I don’t know anything about Courtois, I don’t know anything about Kepa, of course!” the Italian said.

When pressed on 23-year-old Kepa, Sarri added: “I saw him one year ago. My first impression was that he is a very good goalkeeper, very young, but very, very good.”

Hazard, whose future has been in doubt all summer, was given a rapturous reception by Blues fans during their side’s penalty shootout win against Lyon and Sarri said he had “no problem” with the midfielder.

Sarri added: “We have spoken two or three times in the last two days. Hazard’s problem is not present now.”

Courtois was handed an extended holiday after finishing third at the World Cup with Belgium and was expected to return to the Blues’ Cobham training base on Monday, but did not attend.

Reports suggested he was also absent on Tuesday, having told Sarri he wanted to leave the club before Thursday’s transfer deadline.

Should Courtois – signed from Genk in July 2011 before spending a three-season loan spell with Atletico Madrid – not resume training with the Blues, he is likely to face an internal disciplinary meeting and the potential of a fine of up to two weeks wages.

The likes of Kepa, Jan Oblak of Atletico Madrid and Stoke’s Jack Butland are potential replacements should Courtois depart, but all parties are up against the transfer deadline to get any potential deals completed.

Chelsea, meanwhile, could also be set to make another addition to the squad with a loan deal for midfielder Mateo Kovacic from Real Madrid, according to reports in Spain.

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Pep Guardiola believes Manchester City will not make any further signings in transfer window

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Guardiola has seemingly ruled out any more signings.

Pep Guardiola appears to have ruled out any further signings at Manchester City for the coming season.

The Premier League champions have made just one major addition to their squad this summer in the club record £60 million acquisition of Riyad Mahrez.

City had made the recruitment of a defensive midfielder a priority but, after losing out on Jorginho to Chelsea, they may not head back into the market before Thursday’s transfer deadline.

City manager Guardiola does have some other options in the position, which could include deploying central defender John Stones in a midfield role. The England international briefly played in a more advanced position during Sunday’s Community Shield win over Chelsea at Wembley.

Asked if Stones could play there again, Guardiola said on Sky Sports’ Premier League Launch Show: “I don’t know, I didn’t put it in a training session. It was 10-15 minutes.

“We have Fernandinho, (Ilkay) Gundogan can play there. We don’t have many. I think we are not going to make any signings more this season.

“John, for the quality and personality he has, he is a tall guy, I think he can play there but I don’t know because we have never tried before. We will see during the season.”

Stones could be tried out in a defensive midfield role.

Stones could be tried out in a defensive midfield role.

City won the title with a record 100 points last season. Guardiola does not expect that tally to be beaten but is determined to keep driving City towards greater heights.

The former Barcelona boss said: “People say, ‘Can you improve on 100 points?’ – I say no. We are not here to do that.

“But individually the players can improve. Of course we can improve. If I felt we could not improve the team I would call my chairman and say, ‘OK, I leave’.

“We believe we can do better, dominate more and we will try to do it. Is it going to happen? I don’t know but we believe we can do it.”

City failed to mount strong title defences after their last Premier League successes in 2012 and 2014 but captain Vincent Kompany claims the feeling is different this time.

Kompany said: “I’ve got to be honest, there was a feeling when we’ve won the league (previously), you came back in to the training sessions and everybody was a little bit less (intense), a little bit more smiles and happiness, but a little bit less committed.

“Teams that actually wanted it more could hurt us. I came in (to training) this time and it’s completely different.”

Team-mate Kyle Walker, who cut short his summer holiday to return to training ahead of the Community Shield, spoke about his hunger to deliver again.

Walker had just two weeks off following England’s run to the semi-finals of the World Cup.

The right-back said: “I had the option if I wanted to come back later I could, but I wanted to be involved.

“I left Manchester City at the end of last season in a good place and I wanted to pick up where we left off.”

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Joe Hart believes Burnley is perfect club for him to reinvigorate career after Man City ending

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Hart is attempting to get his career back on track.

Joe Hart feels he has found the perfect club to kickstart his career after joining Burnley from Manchester City.

England’s former number one has signed a two-year deal at Turf Moor after bringing to an end his 12-year association with City.

The two-time Premier League winner had spent the past two seasons on loan at Torino and West Ham after falling down the pecking order at the Etihad Stadium.

The 31-year-old told Clarets Player: “I feel like I’m in the right place and I feel like this is my time to kick on now. Everything has really impressed me. I’ve heard such good things about the atmosphere.

“I heard that was the vibe and I’ve come here first day, and you can just see it – it just stinks of it.

“Everyone wants to play for each other, everyone wants to win and everyone wants to do their best.”

Burnley, who finished seventh in the Premier League last season, emerged as an unlikely destination for Hart after injuries to Nick Pope and Tom Heaton, both also England internationals.

Pope, who was part of England’s squad at the World Cup this summer, dislocated his shoulder in the recent Europa League qualifier at Aberdeen.

Hart was frozen out of Manchester City by Pep Guardiola.

Hart was frozen out of Manchester City by Pep Guardiola.

With Heaton returning to fitness after a calf strain, manager Sean Dyche decided to enter the transfer market ahead of this week’s deadline.

When all are fit, Hart will face tough competition for a place but Dyche is convinced he is ready for that challenge.

Dyche said: “It’s strange to have three of the recent England goalkeepers in the one camp, especially here at Burnley.

“But the timing is right and having spoken to Joe I think it’s right for him too.

“He is clear-minded in the sense that he just wants to get on and work, part of the team and earn the right for a chance to play.”

Hart’s move was marked with warm words from his former employers City, who have promised supporters the chance to show their appreciation with a ‘formal tribute’ in the autumn. City are due to host Burnley in October.

City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak said: “Joe Hart’s contribution to Manchester City cannot be overstated.

“His 12 years at the club have seen him produce some remarkable performances and heart-stopping saves that will live in the memory for a long time to come.

“His passion for and commitment to this club, evidenced by a remarkable tally of 348 appearances, means he will rightly be regarded as a City legend in perpetuity.”

City captain Vincent Kompany said: “Joe joined as a young lad from Shrewsbury and leaves a City legend.

“When you look at the club he joined and the club as it is now, we have come so far during his time in Manchester and Joe has been a huge part of that. It’s been an absolute pleasure to play alongside him for so many years.”

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