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Hazard’s contract renewal key for Conte's successor

Written By: Sumedh Sengaonkar
Eden Hazard

Kolkata, May 14: It has rather been a disappointing title defending season for Chelsea by all means. Sunday’s final game-week loss to Newcastle United all but confirmed that Chelsea will not feature in the next Champions League season. However, the Blue’s face a much stiff task now.

With Antonio Conte nearing his end at the helm of the London club, Chelsea are desperate to find a new manager for the upcoming campaign. But to rope in a world class manager, Chelsea need to hold on to their world class players first. Eden Hazard tops this list and the club is desperate to make the Belgian sign a new contract extension in their attempt to bring a top manager.

Chelsea are still deliberating between Maurizio Sarri and Luis Enrique as they weigh up how best to replace head coach Antonio Conte and try to convince Hazard to stay at the club. It has sort of become a lose-all situation for them as they could miss out on both, a top manager and their top player.

Hazard has been heavily linked with a move to Real Madrid next season. Even Hazard himself feels he has reached the quality and level to play with the Galacticos. On the other hand, Madrid could keep an eye on Hazard should they fail to sign Neymar from Paris-Saint Germain. So, there is no way that a move for Hazard to Madrid could be ruled out.

Sacking Conte could cost Chelsea up to £9million as the Italian is refusing to quit with one year remaining on his contract. But that may be a small price to pay for owner Roman Abramovich if it means convincing Hazard to sign a new £300,000-a-week contract at Stamford Bridge.

The relationship between Hazard and Conte became strained some time ago, prompting concerns that the forward will not extend his deal past 2020 unless a change is made.

A call from Madrid will require no convincing as this move would guarantee a Champions League spot next season for the Belgian.

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    Story first published: Monday, May 14, 2018, 14:06 [IST]
    Other articles published on May 14, 2018
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