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Maurizio Sarri on Callum Hudson-Odoi's improvement and positivity, Gonzalo Higuain, and Alvaro Morata's future

Maurizio Sarri revealed how Callum Hudson-Odoi is feeling at the moment, gave his verdict on the latest Chelsea transfer rumours, and discussed Alvaro Morata’s state of mind during his press conference at Cobham today.

Eighteen-year-old Hudson-Odoi has been the subject of plenty of transfer speculation in recent weeks, but Sarri said that has not affected his performances in training and indeed he has come on leaps and bounds. The boss first explained why he hasn’t discussed Hudson-Odoi’s future with the player himself.

‘I don’t want to talk with him about something that I cannot resolve,’ Sarri said.

‘I am very happy with him. One month ago we worked with him on the defensive phase and he improved immediately. Now we are working with him on movements without the ball, and in my opinion he is improving. On the pitch we are really very happy with him because he is improving a lot in the last two months. 

‘He is in a very positive moment, for the attitude, for the way he is training. Mentally he is in a very positive moment.’

Sarri was asked whether Gonzalo Higuain was close to joining the Blues.

‘I don’t know. I want to be clear because I cannot help you. I spoke with [Chelsea director] Marina [Granovskaia] two weeks ago so she knows very well my opinion on improving the team. Then I decided to focus on the pitch, on matches and training.

‘Now I am confident because I know Marina is working very hard, but I don’t know anything about the market because I want to focus on matches. I don’t call her every evening, otherwise I would spend all my mental energy on the market and I think it’s better if I spend all my mental energy on the pitch.’

Alvaro Morata has been linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge this week but Sarri insisted the striker remains in his thoughts.

‘I don’t know if he will play, but he is training with us. That’s normal. For him it’s a very difficult moment, but it’s normal for a player in January to be involved with the market. He is available, but like in the last match I can choose something difficult.’

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