Blues must add more qual­ity if I’m to ex­tend deal: Haz­ard

Belfast Telegraph - - SPORT - BY MATT McGEECHAN

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 the Premier League next sea­son.”

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 said: “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 of 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 yes­ter­day.

“I don’t think it’s my last game. It’s the last game of the sea­son, that’s it,” he said.

“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.

He also in­sisted the un­cer­tainty sur­round­ing An­to­nio Conte’s po­si­tion as head coach has had no im­pact on the squad.

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

Haz­ard in­sisted: “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 ar­riv- al 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, the Cham­pi­ons League and FA Cup. That’s it,” Haz­ard said.

Chelsea won the Premier League in Conte’s first sea­son as head coach for Haz­ard’s sec­ond cham­pi­onship winners’ medal in Eng­land. But the Blues fin­ished fifth this term and have failed to qual­ify for next sea­son’s Cham­pi­ons League.

“We’re Chelsea. We need tro­phies,” Haz­ard said. “At the mo­ment we have noth­ing. We have not qual­i­fied for the Cham­pi­ons League. So the sea­son has been bad. If we can’t be in the Cham­pi­ons League we need the tro­phy.

“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. 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.”

Mean­while, Thibaut Cour­tois says Chelsea’s dis­ap­point­ing fin­ish to the Premier League sea­son will have no im­pact on Satur­day’s fi­nal.

A 3-0 loss at New­cas­tle on Sun­day ex­tin­guished slim hopes of Cham­pi­ons League qual­i­fi­ca­tion as the Blues fin­ished fifth.

“The con­fi­dence is al­right,” Cour­tois said. “It was not a good per­for­mance. This is dif­fer­ent to the Premier League and we have to go for it. That’s im­por­tant. Af- ter a sea­son of ups and downs, we can fin­ish on an up.”

Cour­tois’ fu­ture is in doubt. The 26-year-old is out of con­tract in June 2019 and — if he does not ex­tend his deal — Chelsea may opt to sell.

Cour­tois is ad­mired by Real Madrid. He spent three years on loan at Atletico Madrid.

“There’s noth­ing I want to com­ment on now,” he added.

Chelsea face fa­mil­iar foes in Mour­inho and for­mer Blues Ne­manja Matic, Romelu Lukaku, if fit, and Juan Mata, if se­lected.

Cour­tois says friend­ships can wait un­til af­ter the game.

“It’s bet­ter just to be fo­cused on our­selves,” he said.

Mak­ing de­mands: Eden Haz­ard wants Chelsea to splash the cash in a bid to win the Premier League next sea­son and (above)Thibaut Cour­tois

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