Eden Hazard challenges Chelsea to strengthen squad over summer

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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 next season the Premier League.”

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 added: “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 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 on Tuesday.

“I think it’s not my last game. It’s the last game of the season, that’s it,” he added.

“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.

Eden Hazard says the speculation surrounding Antonio Conte's future as Chelsea head coach has not affected the players
Eden Hazard says the speculation surrounding Antonio Conte’s future as Chelsea head coach has not affected the players (Tim Goode/EMPICS)

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

Hazard added: “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, Champions League and FA Cup. That’s it,” Hazard said.

Eden Hazard has twice won the Premier League with Chelsea
Eden Hazard has twice won the Premier League with Chelsea (Nick Potts/PA Images)

But the Blues finished fifth this term and have failed to qualify for next season’s Champions League.

“We’re Chelsea. We need trophies at the end of the season,” Hazard added. “At the moment we have nothing. We have not qualified for the Champions League. So the season has been bad.

“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 and for Chelsea. 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.”

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