Report: Eden Hazard refuses to extend contract at Chelsea
Thierry Hazard has claimed this son has refused to sign a contract extension at Chelsea, in order to encourage UEFA Champions League defending champions Real Madrid to make a formal offer for his services.
The 26-year-old's contract at Stamford Bridge currently runs until the summer of 2020. He has been phenomenal since joining from Lille in 2012 and his performances last season helped the Blues clinch Premier League glory.
With 80 goals in 275 appearances across all competitions since joining the west London club, Hazard has asserted himself as one of the club's best players in recent history. As a result, negative news and speculation regarding his future is likely to unsettle the supporters - who would ideally want their star man to remain a Blue for the remainder of his playing career.
Father Thierry spoke to the Belgian newspaper Le Soir, saying:
"What I can reveal about Eden is that he refused a contract extension. This was so that, if necessary, he could follow the interest of Real, whom he could see himself playing for. However, he added that at present, no approach had been made by the La Liga team. As of right now, there is no contract from Real Madrid - Eden is only one of the parties involved in his future."
Le Soir also posted a picture of their newspaper on Twitter, regarding the situation with Eden Hazard and the Spanish champions.
It's not all doom and gloom from a Chelsea perspective, though. There has been speculation surrounding Hazard's future for a couple of seasons now, but the Belgian did reveal last month that he was still happy at the club.
When speaking to Canal+, he was quoted as saying:
"I am always very fine at this club. I still have two years of contract [left]. When I feel the desire to leave, I'll leave. But, for now, I'm a Blue. We know the admiration that I have for Real, but I'm at Chelsea. Every year, things were said about me but I stayed. In Lille, I was announced in Paris, but I stayed. And in Chelsea, people always said that I'm leaving, but I'm still here."
Chelsea finished 2017 with an emphatic 5-0 thrashing over Stoke City at Stamford Bridge in yesterday and Hazard, who is usually one of the first names on the team sheet when available, was an unused substitute.
With an eye on Arsenal next Wednesday, perhaps Antonio Conte was resting one of his key attacking assets. However, speculation around his future continues to intensify.