John Payne of Metro reports that the Blues rejected a bid of £50 million last summer from Paris Saint-Germain for the player and are now prepared to make him their highest earner to deflect further interest from the Galacticos, Barcelona and PSG.
However, Payne points out that Hazard has never hidden his desire to play for one of Europe's elite clubs, and that the Belgian said this week that he wants to join the top table of players in the world.
Payne quotes Hazard as saying:
Of course I want to be the best in the world. It’s an aspiration for me to be as good as Ronaldo and Messi. I watch a lot of games they play in and I try to be on the same level. I don’t know if I will ever reach their level. It’ll be hard, but I accept the challenge.
The 23-year-old forward-thinking midfielder has been a sensation for the Stamford Bridge club this season.
From his 30 Premier League games this year, he has scored 13 goals and has seven assists to his name, per WhoScored.com.
TalkSPORT's reporter Ian Abrahams recently tweeted about the Belgian's fine form, saying:
And Hazard was last week honoured by the the Willow Foundation, being named London Player of the Year:
On receiving the accolade, Chelsea's club website report Hazard as saying:
I am really happy and honoured to receive this award. I feel my performances over the past year have been on a very high level and it's always nice when people recognise that. I want to give a special thanks to everyone at the club and the fans, for believing in me and for supporting me in my career.
Hazard is only now on the cusp of what he could achieve, and there is no doubt that the very best teams on the planet will soon be making a concerted effort to recruit him to their squads.
Indeed, it was Mata's sale that was the biggest compliment that one could pay to Hazard. Mourinho was prepared to lose the twice Chelsea Player of the Season because he had the little Belgian in his ranks.
But losing the midfielder is not something the Blues can contemplate at the moment. If he has a fantastic World Cup, his stock will rise further, and Chelsea will have to battle hard to keep him.
Madrid have proved countless times that they can turn a player's head when they choose to.
The acquisition of Gareth Bale and the swift nature of the way that deal was concluded last summer shows that it is hard for the best players in the world to reject their advances.
Hazard is no different. Life in West London is affluent and desirable, but to join a team with the history of Madrid is something all the best players in the world would consider.
For now, Chelsea can push on towards the title with their diminutive attacker at the helm. Their next step must be to get him to sign a new deal before the season ends.
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