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Sarri says he is focused on pitch as Higuain deal drags out


London (AFP) – Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri will not be able to call on Gonzalo Higuain for Saturday’s visit to Arsenal but said his focus was already on the game and not moves in the transfer market.

Higuain is expected to complete a loan move from Juventus, but no deal was announced before the midday deadline on Friday for the Argentine striker to be registered if he were to feature at the Emirates.

Sarri previously coached Higuain at Napoli when he scored a Serie A record 36 goals in a league campaign in 2015/16.

That sort of firepower is what Chelsea have been badly missing in recent months, with Sarri’s lack of confidence in Alvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud forcing Eden Hazard into an unfamiliar centre-forward role.

Sarri said he had made the club’s director and chief transfer negotiator Marina Granovskaia aware of what his side needed.

“I spoke with Marina two weeks ago, so Marina knows very well my opinion how to improve the team,” said Sarri.

“Then I decide to be focused on the pitch, on matches, on training.

“I don’t call her every evening, otherwise I spend all my mental energy on the market and I think it’s better if I spend all my mental energies on the pitch.”

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