Cape Town - New Chelsea manager Maurizio
Sarri has said it could take up to three months before his players are able to
perform to their potential.
The Italian, 59, said that having many of
his squad unavailable following the World Cup has made it more difficult for
him to shape the team in his mould.
"I am very happy I can work with all
my players for the first time tomorrow (Wednesday)," he said after Tuesday’s
penalty shootout win over Lyon at Stamford Bridge.
"Potentially we can become, in two or
three months, a very good team."
Chelsea start their Premier League campaign
at Huddersfield Town on Saturday, a game that Sarri said has probably come too
One player who may not be in training is
goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.
The keeper missed training for the second
day in a row on Tuesday as he tries to engineer a move to Real Madrid.
Reports said that Chelsea staff are unsure
when the Belgian star will return.
On Friday, Sarri said: "At the moment
Courtois is the goalkeeper of Chelsea. I don't know in the future. It depends
on the club, it depends especially on him, but I hope Courtois will be our
The Blues are reportedly lining up Athletic
Bilbao goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga as a replacement for Courtois.
Sky Sports reported that the 23-year-old
Spain international would cost Chelsea around £70 million, beating the £65
million world record fee Liverpool paid for Alisson last month.
Stoke's Jack Butland is another keeper that
Chelsea have been keeping tabs on.