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Sarri hopes to bend contract rules for Chelsea ‘pensioners’

Old timers: Sarri is keen to tie down Fabregas and Luiz (below) to long-terms deals PICTURE: REX

MAURIZIO SARRI wants to defy Chelsea’s policy of only offering one-year contract extensions to players aged over 30 by tying David Luiz and Cesc Fabregas down to new long-term deals.

Cesar Azpilicueta, 29, signed for another four years on Tuesday and Sarri wants defender Luiz and midfielder Fabregas to follow suit.

Both players turn 32 before the end of this season, and Chelsea’s long established policy of 12-month extensions for over 30s is a stumbling block to Sarri’s plan.

‘David and Cesc are leaders. And so I think it’s very important for me, for the staff, also for their team-mates, if they stay with us,’ said the Italian.

‘The club want a short contract and the players want a long contract. And so it’s difficult for this reason. I think at the end we can find a solution.

‘They are very important players for us. It’s very difficult to find a centre-back for this level. And it’s very difficult to find a central midfielder technically like Fabregas. So I think they have to stay.’

Going nowhere: Loftus-Cheek

Sarri also dismissed the possibility of a January exit for Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who has been linked with a host of clubs.

The England midfielder spent last season on loan at Crystal Palace and has been tipped to seek a similar move in order to find regular football.

Asked about the possibility of a sale, Sarri said: ‘No. I want him to stay with me, to stay with us. I think there is no chance.’

Loftus-Cheek, 22, came off the bench to score Chelsea’s second in last Sunday’s 2-0 win over Fulham and could start in the Premier League for the first time this season at Wolves this evening.

Blues duo are fitness doubts

CHELSEA midfielder Mateo Kovacic (ankle) and left-back Marcos Alonso (back) are doubts for tonight’s trip to Molineux. ‘Maybe during the (Fulham) match the back worsened,’ boss Maurizio Sarri said of Alonso. ‘He didn’t play well.’