Maurizio Sarri has lashed out at Bayern Munich for their “unprofessional” behaviour after the Bundesliga club publicly expressed their interest in Chelsea starlet Callum Hudson-Odoi.
Chelsea boss Sarri is furious that Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic said this week that they “definitely” want to sign Hudson-Odoi during the January transfer window as he “has the qualities which would fit very well” with the German champions.
Chelsea have reportedly turned down a £35 million ($45 million) bid from Bayern for the 18-year-old, who has less than 18 months to run on his current contract and has so far refused to sign a new five-year deal, and Sarri is unhappy with Bayern’s public approach.
“I think that it’s not professional, because they are talking about a player under contract with Chelsea. So they didn’t respect our club, I think,” Sarri told reporters on Friday.
Sarri has handed Hudson-Odoi a place in his starting line-up for Chelsea’s past two matches – Tuesday’s League Cup semi-final loss to Tottenham Hotspur and the 2-0 FA Cup win over Nottingham Forest last weekend in which the teenager set up both of Alvaro Morata’s goals.
But, having helped England win the Under-17 World Cup, Hudson-Odoi could follow the same path taken by his international teammate Jadon Sancho, who has impressed for Borussia Dortmund since leaving Manchester City for Germany.
Regardless of Hudson-Odoi’s future, Sarri has recommended Chelsea sign two new players to bolster his squad.
“As you know very well I am not involved in the market. I spoke with the club and the club knows very well my opinion. In my opinion we need two players. Then it depends on the club decision. I don’t know anything about the market day by day or minute by minute.”
Sarri refused to comment on talk of a Chelsea swoop for his former Napoli striker Gonzalo Higuain, who is on loan at AC Milan from Italian champions Juventus.
But he did admit Chelsea would need to find a replacement if out-of-form Spain striker Morata leaves, with Sevilla and Atletico Madrid reportedly interested in signing him on loan.
“Of course, if Morata will go to another club we need a replacement, it’s normal,” Sarri said. “At the moment Morata is here, so I think he has to think only to play.”
Meanwhile Sarri also shot down rumours this week that winger Willian could move to Barcelona.
“Willian for us is really very important. I think it’s impossible to lose him in January.”
© Agence France-Presse (additional edits from Chris Kelleher)