CHELSEA are reportedly ‘optimistic’ Eden Hazard will commit his long-term future to the club by signing a new £300,000-a-week contract.
Hazard revealed last month that he was “waiting” to be offered a new deal by Chelsea despite having two-and-a-half-years left on his current contract.
The Belgian, who is arguably Chelsea’s most important player, has been linked with a move to Real Madrid in the past.
But Hazard is understood to be happy at Stamford Bridge having been key in winning the Premier League title last season.
And the Telegraph say Chelsea are ready to make Hazard the highest paid player at the club.
It is claimed Hazard has been told he can challenge for the Ballon d’Or at Chelsea instead of joining Real Madrid.
Hazard has been slowly reintegrated back into first-team action after an ankle injury.
And Blues boss Antonio Conte says the 26-year-old is in contention to face Atletico Madrid tomorrow night in the Champions League.
Conte said: “I think Eden is improving a lot and in contention for the game (in Madrid).
“After his injury and surgery you need time, and if I make the decision (to start him) it is because I think he is ready.
“When you are in a great team with many great players, you must understand that you need to be ready to start on the bench, ready to come on and make a difference.
“I don’t see a problem. We are managing his recovery very well. Hazard is very important for us, so we have to make sure he is ready to play a full game.”
Atletico Madrid v Chelsea – Fascinating Facts
We are eagerly anticipating our Group ‘C` Champions League clash with Atletico Madrid.
It has the potential to be a cracking fixture and will give us an indication of how far we could go in this competition.
Ahead of the game we`ve stuck our heads into the form and record books and come up with a few facts and figures.
• Atletico are tough opposition on their own patch, under Diego Simeone the Spanish side have won 18 of their 23 Champions League home fixtures.
• The last 4 competitive fixtures between the two clubs have seen Chelsea fail to win, drawing 2 and losing 2.
• When it comes to matches against Spanish opposition, away from Stamford Bridge, Chelsea`s recent record is good. The last 9 fixtures have seen Chelsea win 2, draw 7 and lose 0.
• The last 5 trips to Spain have seen Chelsea draw all 5 games.
• In the last 14 Champions League campaigns, Chelsea have reached the knockout stages on 13 occasions.
• The last 14 Champions League group fixtures Chelsea have played have seen Chelsea lose just the 1 game.