Chelsea legend Dennis Wise believes Eden Hazard is waiting to see if the club qualify for the Champions League before making a decision on his long-term future at Stamford Bridge.
The Belgian has 18 months to run on his existing deal at the club and has admitted that he’s torn between signing a new deal or joining Real Madrid.
Maurizio Sarri has confirmed the club have offered Hazard a new deal and are ‘immediately’ ready for him to commit his future.
However, Wise believes the club must prove their ambition to Hazard, first by qualifying for the Champions League and second by signing ‘quality’ players.
‘It’s very important to keep him,’ said Wise, who today launches the inaugural ‘Sportsperson with a Personality Award’.
‘I think from a Chelsea point of view if they want to win trophies they need to keep Hazard. It’s very important because he’s such a quality player.
‘Every Chelsea fan would love to keep him and hopefully we can tie him up for longer.
‘But the important thing from Hazard’s point of view is what other personnel comes in at Chelsea Football Club and whether they can get back into the Champions League.
‘He wants to play Champions League football – he hasn’t this year – but if they can get that spot for next year and add a couple of top quality players then it can [help] change his mind.
‘He’d know then that the club can compete because at this moment Manchester City and Liverpool are in front.’
Chelsea’s unbeaten start to the season was ended by Spurs at Wembley last week and Wolves put a further dent in the Blues’ title ambitions with a shock 2-1 win at Molineux on Wednesday.
Sarri handed Ruben Loftus-Cheek his first Premier League start of the season and the 22-year-old repaid the Italian’s faith by opening the scoring against Wolves.
The England international is concerned by his lack of playing time at Stamford Bridge but Wise believes he should stay at the club because he has a greater opportunity to win trophies.
‘I’m sure that many teams would want him,’ said Wise.
‘But as a player you should be asking yourself: “What do I want to be?” I’d want to fight and get in this team.
‘He’s up against good players but do you want to go to [someone like] Crystal Palace where you’ll play week in week out and constantly battling or do you want to be at a team that can win trophies, competing against quality players?
‘I know as a player that I’d want to fight to make that shirt my shirt. You want to make your shirt a Chelsea one because that’s where Ruben needs to be.
‘He’s got to be consistent because there’s players that have a lot of quality so he has to produce week in, week out.
‘He’s shown Sarri what he’s capable of and he’s proven he’s at that level. Sarri now has to make a decision on who plays in that third spot [in midfield] and I think Ruben has a good chance.
‘Ruben has a great opportunity of making it his spot and I think he deserves a run in the team.’