SHORT CORNER | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, January 31, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:06 AM, January 31, 2019


Hazard can leave if he wants, says Sarri


Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has said Eden Hazard is free to leave the club if he wants to but the Italian hopes the forward stays at Stamford Bridge.

Hazard has been linked with a move to Spanish side Real Madrid in recent months and the Belgium international had said in October last year that it was his dream to play for the reigning European champions.

"Eden is 28. If he wants to go, I think he has to go," Sarri said of Hazard, whose contract expires next season. "Of course, I hope the opposite, I hope he wants to stay here. He has the potential to be the best player in Europe at the moment."                

Cardiff players scared to fly after Sala's disappearance


Some of the Cardiff City players are scared to fly after January signing Emiliano Sala's flight disappeared over the English Channel last week, defender Sol Bamba has said.

"We travel by plane and some of the lads have been thinking 'I don't want to go on it anymore'," Bamba told BBC. "The gaffer... and the club have been good in terms of bringing someone in to talk to if we need to. And I think some of the lads do, they need to get it out."

Bamba, who knew Sala personally through his agent, said he discussed the move to Cardiff with the Argentine who was signed from French Ligue 1 club Nantes. "It is not just me finding it difficult, even though I had a personal connection to him," Bamba added. "I don't feel more sad than the other lads, everyone feels sad, the whole club."     

Xavi has last laugh


The 2010 World Cup had Paul the Octopus and this year's Asian Cup has Barcelona great, and now soothsayer, Xavi Hernandez.

The Spanish World Cup winner has proved remarkably skilled off the pitch as well as on it, with a series of stunning predictions about what would happen in the tournament.

He has an almost 100 percent record, including picking Qatar and Japan as surprise finalists. Before that he correctly predicted seven of the last eight quarterfinalists and three of the four semifinalists.

The only predictions he has got wrong so far is tipping Syria to get to the last eight -- Vietnam did instead -- and Australia to make the semifinals, but they lost to the United Arab Emirates.

He was ridiculed online after he went on Doha-based TV station Al Kass in December and publicly announced his predictions for the tournament. Many accused the Doha-based star of home town bias after picking Qatar to reach the final but Xavi is having the last laugh.

But as he is matching Paul the Octopus, who managed 85 per cent in 2010 including correctly selecting Xavi's Spain to lift the World Cup, there is a chance the Spaniard will be proved correct.             

Dortmund turned downed Weigl request to join PSG


Germany midfielder Julian Weigl has confirmed reports that Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund turned down his request for a transfer to Paris Saint Germain in the current window.

"I have to accept that those responsible at the club didn't want to release me (from his contract)," the 23-year-old, who has made five appearances for Germany, told German magazine Sport Bild. "Now my full concentration is on being successful with BVB (Dortmund)."

After winger Christian Pulisic signed for Chelsea in early January, sports director Michael Zorc stated the club would not sell any more players before the transfer window closes on Thursday (1700 GMT) with Dortmund on course for their first Bundesliga title since 2012.

With Weigl unavailable, PSG completed the signing of Argentina midfielder Leandro Paredes, 24, on Monday from Zenit Saint Petersburg on a four-and-a-half-year deal.                

Seat cushions found 'likely' from missing Sala plane


British investigators said on Wednesday it was "likely" that two seat cushions that washed up on the French shore this week were from the missing plane carrying footballer Emiliano Sala.

Britain's Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB), which is probing the disappearance of the light aircraft over the Channel on January 21, said the cushions were discovered on the Normandy coastline on Monday.

"From a preliminary examination we have concluded that it is likely that the cushions are from the missing aircraft," a statement read. 

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