New Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri says he wants to keep Eden Hazard at the club and “improve” the Belgium forward.
Hazard, who has been linked with Real Madrid, said last weekend “it might be time to discover something different” after six years at Stamford Bridge.
Sarri, speaking at a news conference on Wednesday, described Hazard as “one of the top two or three European players”.
The former Napoli boss said: “Hazard is a very high-level player. I hope that I will manage to improve him.”
Roberto Martinez, the Belgium manager, told Spanish radio recently that Hazard should consider leaving Chelsea to further his career.
The forward, for his part, responded to the Real Madrid reports by telling journalists last Saturday: “You know my preferred destination.
Sarri said he wanted to meet Hazard, who is away on holiday after representing Belgium at the World Cup.
Asked if he planned to phone Hazard – or any other player linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge – Sarri added: “A telephone call without looking them in the eye would not give me any certainty.
Sarri suggested that England defender Gary Cahill has a future at Stamford Bridge, despite reports that the new manager is looking at signing centre-back Daniele Rugani from Juventus.