David Luiz hopes Chelsea can persuade star duo Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois to stay at Stamford Bridge, but insists the club can challenge defending champions Manchester City without them.
Courtois, has a year remaining on his contract and has been repeatedly linked with a move to Real Madrid. Chelsea risk losing him for a reduced fee in January or for free next summer.
While, Hazard whose deal expires in 2020, has stalled over a new contract offer and has long been the subject of speculation over a move to Real Madrid after the shock departure of Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.
Both players were given extended time off after the World Cup but were due to return to training after Sunday's community shield clash. New coach Maurizio Sarri is set to hod talks with the Belgium pair over their future amid strong interest from Real Madrid. However, Luiz is convinced Chelsea will still be title contenders even if the Italian fails to persuade them to stay.
"Of course. I think Chelsea has a fantastic squad, with fantastic players," the Brazilian told reporters.
"I want them to stay, because we have top players with the confidence.
"They know Chelsea a lot, so they know what they've had here, the fun they've had here. Everybody loves them and I hope they can stay.
"[But] if they decide to leave, I think we will continue with fantastic players."
Chelsea sorely missed the influential duo as the Premier League champions beat them 2-0 in the Community Shield to seal the first silverware of the season. But there was a silver lining for the Blues, after they succeeded in convincing Willian to stay at the club despite reported interest from Manchester United and Barcelona.
Speaking on his Brazilian compatriot's decision to pledge his future at Stamford Bridge, Luiz told reporters:
"He's a fantastic player and a fantastic friend"
"I've known Willian since I was eight, so a long time.
"Willian loves Chelsea. He played today after the World Cup, he already showed his quality, so I wanted him to stay."
"Chelsea loves Willian, Willian loves Chelsea, so that's great."