Belfast Telegraph

Chelsea must add more quality if I'm to extend deal: Eden Hazard


Making demands: Eden Hazard wants Chelsea to splash the cash in a bid to win the Premier League next season
Making demands: Eden Hazard wants Chelsea to splash the cash in a bid to win the Premier League next season

By Matt McGeechan

Eden Hazard has challenged Chelsea to match his ambitions with new signings to bolster the squad.

The 27-year-old Belgium playmaker is under contract until 2020 and is reportedly mulling over an extension.

Chelsea pulled off a coup in signing Hazard in the summer of 2012, but the club's transfer business has been more circumspect since.

Asked what would persuade him to sign, Hazard said: "I'm waiting for new players next season. I want good players because I want to win the Premier League next season."

Hazard acknowledges this is likely his last lucrative, long-term deal. But he made it clear he was in no rush to leave amid persistent rumours linking him with Real Madrid.

He said: "That's why I'm taking my time. It's something big. I need to think about a lot of things. One thing I'm sure of is that I'm happy here."

Any supporters seeking reassurance that Saturday's FA Cup final with Manchester United would not be Hazard's last match for Chelsea could take some encouragement from his words yesterday.

"I don't think it's my last game. It's the last game of the season, that's it," he said.

"For me in my mind, I'm here. I have one week to play now. Saturday is a massive game. I just want to win."

Hazard, who will go to the World Cup with Belgium this summer, said he was not sure when his future would be resolved.

He also insisted the uncertainty surrounding Antonio Conte's position as head coach has had no impact on the squad.

Conte's future has been the subject of speculation all season, with many expecting the Italian to leave this summer.

Hazard insisted: "We don't think about that. We're just focused on the game. We have one game to play and then we'll see what happens at the end of the season."

Hazard announced his arrival at Chelsea after their memorable Champions League win six years ago.

And if Chelsea can lift the FA Cup on Saturday then the European Cup will be the one major honour to elude him during his time at Stamford Bridge.

"I need two more trophies, the Champions League and FA Cup. That's it," Hazard said.

Chelsea won the Premier League in Conte's first season as head coach for Hazard's second championship winners' medal in England. But the Blues finished fifth this term and have failed to qualify for next season's Champions League.

"We're Chelsea. We need trophies," Hazard said. "At the moment we have nothing. We have not qualified for the Champions League. So the season has been bad. If we can't be in the Champions League we need the trophy.

"It's up to us to save the season with the FA Cup. I've never won the FA Cup. I hope this year is for me. We will give everything."

Chelsea and Hazard face a familiar foe in Jose Mourinho, who had two spells as Blues boss.

Hazard added: "We know how he will play. We all know that. That's why we need to be ready."

Meanwhile, Thibaut Courtois says Chelsea's disappointing finish to the Premier League season will have no impact on Saturday's final.

A 3-0 loss at Newcastle on Sunday extinguished slim hopes of Champions League qualification as the Blues finished fifth.

"The confidence is alright," Courtois said. "It was not a good performance. This is different to the Premier League and we have to go for it. That's important. After a season of ups and downs, we can finish on an up."

Courtois' future is in doubt. The 26-year-old is out of contract in June 2019 and - if he does not extend his deal - Chelsea may opt to sell.

Courtois is admired by Real Madrid. He spent three years on loan at Atletico Madrid.

"There's nothing I want to comment on now," he added.

Chelsea face familiar foes in Mourinho and former Blues Nemanja Matic, Romelu Lukaku, if fit, and Juan Mata, if selected.

Courtois says friendships can wait until after the game.

"It's better just to be focused on ourselves," he said.

Belfast Telegraph


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