David Luiz has urged Thibaut Courtois and Eden Hazard to stay at Chelsea – but the Brazilian believes the Blues can thrive if the pair leave.
Courtois has a year remaining on his contract and has been repeatedly linked with a move to Real Madrid. Chelsea risk losing him for a reduced fee in January or for free next summer.
Hazard, whose deal expires in 2020, has stalled over a new contract offer and has long been the subject of speculation over a move to Real.
“They know Chelsea a lot, so they know what they’ve had here, the fun they’ve had here. Everybody loves them and I hope they can stay.”
Head coach Maurizio Sarri on Sunday, following the Community Shield loss to Manchester City at Wembley, said he would sanction Courtois’ departure if the goalkeeper expresses a desire to leave.
The transfer window for incoming players to Premier League clubs closes this Thursday, but Luiz is adamant the Blues have enough quality even if Courtois and Hazard go.
“If they decide to leave, I think we will continue with fantastic players.”
Willian is another Chelsea player linked with a move, with Manchester United, Barcelona and Real reportedly courting the Brazil playmaker. Luiz dismissed the idea of his lifelong friend leaving.
Luiz said: “Since the beginning, he told me he loved Chelsea.”
Luiz knows what life is like away from Chelsea, having spent two seasons at Paris St Germain before returning to Stamford Bridge in August 2016.
He insists he never contemplated leaving Chelsea for a second time and is now keen to show he can be a key figure for Sarri’s Chelsea.
“I was just working and trying to do my best,” Luiz added.
“Everybody has the opportunity, you just have to show him character, physical quality, technical quality, so since the first day I’m trying to do that.”
The 59-year-old Italian’s style has been likened to Pep Guardiola’s.
But while Manchester City afforded the Catalan time to adjust in his first season in England, there is precious little time for Sarri.
“I hope we can understand it quickly and can fight for all the titles,” Luiz added.
“When you play for a big club you have to be ready to try to fight for the titles, and we’re going to fight for that.”