Jose Mourinho backs Maurizio Sarri to succeed at Chelsea

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The Belgian worldwide goalkeeper has just one year remaining on his deal with Chelsea and has been linked with a move to Real Madrid.

The distance to City stood at 30 points in the final reckoning last season as Chelsea finished a distant fifth in the Premier League. Guardiola told me that here in England it is very hard.

Maurizio Sarri looks set to lose Thibaut Courtois, with Real Madrid keen to snap him up.

Sky Sports report that Sarri is not happy with comments made by the Belgian's agent, Christophe Henrotay, and will seek clarification from Courtois on his thoughts.

The 29-year-old cut a forlorn figure at times under Antonio Conte, Sarri's predecessor as head coach, and has been linked with Manchester United, Barcelona and Real Madrid this summer. "But only maybe one player". Our pre-season has been a bit insane so we have to work.

"I spoke yesterday with him about him being late, not his future".

The Wembley clash with last season's runaway Premier League winners will give Sarri a taste of what to expect over the next nine months.

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The Italian said that was one of the reasons his team were soundly beaten 2-0 by Manchester City in the Community Shield.

"We're looking forward to it", the 27-year-old said.

"The players are not at a top level, a bit exhausted maybe, a lot of training, travel and matches. Is it odd? I think so".

Pedro was delighted with extending his stay at Chelsea, saying on the club's official website, "It's important for me to continue with Chelsea, I am comfortable here and want to win new titles and trophies". But we have to try to have a good performance.

"I'm very happy about this", Sarri told reporters.

Chelsea will still be without Eden Hazard, their attacker-in-chief who is yet to return to London from his post-World Cup break.