BY PAUL LAGAN
Eden Hazard is hoping to avoid the saga that eventually turned messy that allowed Thibaut Courtois to exit Stamford Bridge and suffer the ire of the Chelsea faithful.
Hazard, 27 has re-ignited the possibility of leaving Stamford Bridge at the end of the season – and is a little bit surprised the club haven’t started formal contract extension talks.
Belgian stopper Courtois effectively went on strike to push through a move to Real Madrid at the end of last season, and has suffered vitriol at the hands of Chelsea fans ever since.
Hazard doesn’t want any of that should he decide the time has come to go. He said: “I could talk now. If they come to me, then I will talk. I don’t want to say that I am not talking (at all) with the club or the owner. I am talking a lot with them.”
Of the way his good mate Courtois moved to Spain, Hazard said: “I don’t want that. I want what’s good for me, but I want what’s good for the club because the club has given me everything.
“I don’t want to say ‘yes I am signing a new contract’ and then in the end I don’t end up signing.
“So I will see. Sometimes in my head I wake up in the morning and think I want to go. Sometimes I think I want to stay. It is a hard decision. It is my future. I am 28 in January.”
At his age, Hazard knows he has one big move to an elite club left in him and Real Madrid is his dream destination: “Yes, that’s why I spoke after the World Cup and I said that I think it is time to change because I played a great World Cup,” he said.
“I am really in the game, I am playing good football at the moment. Real Madrid is the best club in the world. I don’t want to lie today. It is my dream since I was a kid. I was dreaming about this club. We will see. I don’t want to talk about this every day. I don’t have time but we will talk about my future soon. I think so.”
With Hazard contemplating his playing future, another Chelsea legend, John Terry has finally hung up his boots. Terry, 37 is expected to join Aston Villa later this week as assistant manager to Thierry Henry who is odds on to land the job of replacing sacked Steve Bruce. In his time at the Bridge Terry won 15 major titles including five Premier League titles, a Champions League, five FA Cups and a Europa League Cup.