Eden Hazard confirms he is staying at Chelsea
Belgium forward has repeatedly been linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge
Eden Hazard has confirmed he is staying at Chelsea. Photograph: Toby Melville/Reuters
Hazard has been heavily linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge for some time, and particularly so after strongly hinting last month, following Belgium’s involvement at the World Cup, that his time in west London had come to an end.
“After six wonderful years at Chelsea, it might be time to discover something different,” said the forward. “I can decide if I want to stay or go.”
That comment appeared to be the precursor to a transfer to Real Madrid, who are searching for a replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo and can still players up until August 31st when the La Liga transfer window closes. But speaking after Chelsea’s 3-2 victory over Arsenal on Saturday, Hazard insisted he is not going anywhere for the time being at least.
“Everybody knows what I have said after the World Cup. But I’m happy here,” the 27-year-old told RMC Sport. “A lot has been said. A lot of stupidity too. But at the moment I’m happy. I have two years left on my contract and we’ll see what happens. Leaving this year? I won’t go. The transfer market in England is closed. Clubs can still sell players, but not sign new ones anymore. It would be a bit strange that they would sell me now while they can’t sign a replacement.”
Hazard’s show of commitment will come as a relief to Chelsea’s supporters and provide a boost to manager Maurizio Sarri, who had said prior to the match against Arsenal that he expected the Belgium to remain at Chelsea before going on to describe him as “one of the best [PLAYERS]in Europe at the moment.”
Hazard certainly showed his qualities on Saturday, tormenting Arsenal with his movement and dribbling abilities after coming on as a second-half substitute, seen most decisively with the assist that led to Marcos Alonso’s winning goal 10 minutes from full-time.
Hazard’s current deal at Chelsea, who he joined from Lille in 2012, expires on June 30th 2020 and the club have been trying for some time to secure him to new terms worth around £300,000 a week. The player has so far resisted that and despite his fresh show of commitment, rumours surrounding his departure will no doubt grow should he still not have signed a new contract when the European transfer window reopens in January.
“I’m good where I am now,” added Hazard. “Let’s see what happens in one or two years.”