Cape Town - Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri admits he does not know if Eden Hazard will remain in London but says the club must respect his decision if he decides to leave.
Hazard was left out of the starting line-up for Chelsea's goalless draw with Leicester but came on in the 70th minute for what could be his final Premier League appearance.
The Belgian international has been heavily linked with a move to Real Madrid, having enjoyed the best of his seven seasons in England with 16 goals and 15 assists, and Sarri admitted that Chelsea could be powerless to stop him if he wants to move on.
"Eden [Hazard] was tired today so he was on the bench," Sarri explained. "We tried to win with him later on in the last 25 minutes.
"I think Eden has played here in Chelsea for seven seasons, trying in every match to do his best and now it's time to respect his decision, but I hope he will remain with us."
Hazard should have at least one more game left for the Blues, as they prepare for the Europa League final against Arsenal towards the end of the month. And Sarri believes that that accomplishment, coupled with a third-place finish in the league, makes the season a success.
"The season is good. We were in trouble two or three months ago, but third place is a very good result. Now we have to go to Baku for the Europa League final, and we have the chance for our season to be wonderful."
However, he couldn't avoid the fact that Chelsea have a long way to go to catch up with champions Manchester City and runners up Liverpool.
"'I thought I was unlucky at Napoli [losing the title] with 91 points. It will be very difficult [for us to close the gap], Liverpool lost the Premier League with 97 points.
"I'm really sorry for Liverpool fans and [Jurgen] Klopp but the season of Manchester City was wonderful. We have to work and try to recover the gap. It will be difficult."