Chelsea Transfer News: Why New Eden Hazard Deal Is Vital for the Blues

Gianni VerschuerenFeatured ColumnistJune 11, 2014

Chelsea's Eden Hazard takes a shot during the Champions League quarterfinal first leg soccer match between PSG and Chelsea, at the Parc des Princes stadium, in Paris, Wednesday, April 2, 2014. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
Christophe Ena/Associated Press

Eden Hazard has publicly stated he has no intention of leaving Chelsea during the summer, but for all parties involved, a new contract for the Belgian midfielder can't come soon enough.

As reported by Sky Sports' Graeme Bailey, the Belgium international told La Derniere Heure he isn't moving to Paris Saint-Germain and the club has started working on a new contract for the player:

I won't go to PSG, I am staying at Chelsea 100 per cent.

We are talking with Chelsea about a contract extension, but there's no hurry on that.

Of course in football you never know but I am under contract with Chelsea and I want to stay there.

It is only the beginning of the talks right now so we have time, but the fact that Chelsea have offered me a new deal means they have a lot of confidence in me that I can do a good job and that they can count on me.

Hazard is currently preparing for the 2014 World Cup with his Belgian teammates, so his insistence there's no rush to agree to a new deal is understandable. But given how the last few months have played out for Chelsea, the Blues would benefit from a speedy agreement.

There's no denying Hazard is one of the club's most valuable players, and the progress he made during the 2013-14 campaign was spectacular. The midfielder was awarded the PFA Young Player of the Year award at the end of the season, and he was perhaps Luis Suarez's strongest challenger for the award of Player of the Season.

The 23-year-old ended the season with 16 goals and seven assists, per, but those numbers don't tell the complete story. Unlike other top clubs, Chelsea didn't field a stud distributor in the centre of the pitch, and the Blues wingers were tasked with creating much of the openings for themselves.

The tactic was largely successful throughout the season, and of all the team's wingers, none was able to challenge defences as much as Hazard. His incisive runs opened up acres of space in the centre of the pitch, something his teammates gladly took advantage of.

Yet for all of his success, the Blues ended the season empty-handed. There's a reason Chelsea are on the verge of completing a deal for Barcelona's Cesc Fabregas, according to R. Guevara and S. Font of Marca.

Chelsea's wingers were spectacular in 2013-14, but they can be so much better when supported by a creative source in midfield.

Hazard has been linked with PSG for a variety of reasons, and Les Parisiens' purchase of David Luiz highlighted exactly what kind of financial firepower they posses. When teams have the ability to throw money around like that, no player is safe.

Giving the Belgian the No. 10 shirt was a cunning move by Chelsea, and an improved contract is the logical next step. If Hazard is happy (and by all accounts, it would appear he is), he won't strong-arm the club into a sale to the French champions.

Unfortunately for the Blues, there's one factor they can't control. Among Hazard's Belgian teammates in Brazil are three players who at some point in the past season all felt the need to publicly criticise Chelsea despite being on the club's books.

Kevin de Bruyne is no longer with the team, and if the latest reports are to be believed, Romelu Lukaku could be the next man out the door, according to Sky Sports.

Thibaut Courtois could still have a bright future at Stamford Bridge, but he too faces questions going into the summer transfer window.

Like Hazard, all three are vital players for the Belgian Red Devils, and they'll be spending an awful lot of time together over the next few weeks. Will they discuss Chelsea and how the future could be brighter somewhere else? Maybe not, but it's a chance the Blues would rather avoid altogether.

Kirsty Wigglesworth/Associated Press

The more time passes between now and the moment Hazard puts pen to paper, the more opportunities there will be for PSG to court the player and the likes of de Bruyne to potentially influence his decision.

There won't be a vendetta against the Blues in Belgium's training camp, mind you, but players talk. Going off the multitude of comments Courtois and Lukaku have made about their parent club in the media this last year, they talk a lot.

Chelsea have no reason to panic, and the player clearly wants to be a part of the club's plans for the future. But there's no reason to take any unnecessary risks. The sooner Hazard signs his new deal, the sooner the Blues can stop worrying about his future and shift their focus to other matters.