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Eden Hazard has confirmed he will remain at Chelsea this season despite rumours linking him with a move to Real Madrid, though he has left the door open to a move in the future.
The Belgian lit up the World Cup over the summer, helping to secure a third-place finish, and admitted after the win over England that ‘it might be time to try something different’.
He had been earmarked as a successor to Cristiano Ronaldo at the Bernabeu – with the Spanish window still open until the end of August – but has now played down the chances of a departure.
‘Everybody knows what I have said after the World Cup,’ Hazard told French station RMC.
‘But I’m happy here. ‘I don’t want to talk about it yet. A lot has been said, 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.’
Chelsea have been negotiating a new deal with Hazard for some time, though he is yet to sign, causing some fans to fear that he will run down his contract to force through a move just as Thibaut Courtois has done.
Hazard is being eased back gently by manager Maurizio Sarri after his World Cup exploits, but got a rousing reception after coming on against Arsenal in the 60th minute on Saturday at Stamford Bridge, setting up the winning goal.
He continued: ‘Today we have seen that the fans quite like me. I’m good where I am now. Let’s see what happens in one or two years.
‘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.’