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Chelsea's Sarri backs Fabregas move to Monaco but wants replacement

Following his exclusive interview with Christian Pulisic, ESPN FC's Raf Honigstein reflects on how the U.S. star has grown at Dortmund and how he'll fare in the Premier League.

LONDON -- Maurizio Sarri wants Cesc Fabregas to make a January move from Chelsea to Monaco because it will make the midfielder happy.

Fabregas left the Stamford Bridge pitch in tears after waving goodbye to Chelsea fans at the end of Saturday's 2-0 FA Cup win over Nottingham Forest, although all parties have said a deal is not yet over the line.

Sarri -- who said last month that Chelsea's policy of offering only one-year extensions to players over 30 was a sticking point in talks with Fabregas and David Luiz -- believes Fabregas should accept a two-and-a-half-year contract at Monaco.

"I can say only my opinion. I don't know the decision of the club, of course," he said. "In my opinion, he needs to go. I don't want as very important player as Cesc not happy."

Sarri added that Chelsea would need to sign a replacement for Fabregas in January but would not comment on speculation linking them with Cagliari's Nicolo Barella.

"If Cesc goes, of course we will need a replacement. Now with the midfielders we are in trouble, I think, because I don't know the [injury] situation of Ruben [Loftus-Cheek], if it is serious or not," he said.

"Without Cesc we are only five, so we are in trouble."

Sarri said he did not know whether Fabregas had used a rest day on Sunday to fly to Monaco and finalise personal terms, but the Spaniard is a doubt for Tuesday's Carabao Cup semifinal first leg against Tottenham with cramp.

Pedro Rodriguez, Willian and Olivier Giroud missed the Forest game through injury and are being assessed by medical staff, while Loftus-Cheek faces a prolonged spell out with back pain.

Chelsea's injury crisis could provide more opportunities for winger Callum Hudson-Odoi, who is attracting interest from Bayern Munich.

Sarri said he wanted to keep the 18-year-old and added that he was ready to trust him in bigger matches.

"He is ready I think," he said. "Of course we have very important players in the same position, so you want Willian on the bench I think? Pedro?

"I can play with only two wingers. Three is difficult, but now he is ready. He can play. Of course some time he will be on the bench but [that is the] same as Willian and Pedro. I can start to consider him on the same level.

"He is very young, but now he is improving, especially in the defensive phase. He is improving and I am very happy with him. I don't know the situation with the club, but for me he is an important player."

Asked whether joining Bayern would be a good move for Hudson-Odoi, Sarri replied: "I don't think so, because he is an English player.

"He is very young, and I think that he has a very great future here in England with the national team and with Chelsea. To stay here is better for him."

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