Bruce Buck Says Chelsea Will Do All They Can to Convince Eden Hazard to Stay

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistOctober 17, 2018

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 04: Eden Hazard of Chelsea looks on during the UEFA Europa League Group L match between Chelsea and Vidi FC at Stamford Bridge on October 4, 2018 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)
TF-Images/Getty Images

Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck has said the Blues will do all they can to convince Eden Hazard to stay at the club.

Speculation about Hazard's future at Stamford Bridge has been ramped up in recent weeks, with the Belgium international revealing he is undecided about whether he wants to remain at Chelsea or make a "dream" move to Real Madrid in the future.

Buck assured Chelsea fans that the club will be doing everything possible to ensure Hazard sticks around for a while yet, per beIN Sports (h/t the Evening Standard).

"Every Chelsea fan in London and around the world loves Eden Hazard, and he's not only a great footballer but I think he's a wonderful lad," he said. "We want him to stay and we will do what we have to do to entice him to stay."

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 04: Bruce Buck of Chelsea looks on prior the UEFA Europa League Group L match between Chelsea and Vidi FC at Stamford Bridge on October 4, 2018 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)
TF-Images/Getty Images

One potential issue for Chelsea is Hazard's contract, as he will only have one year remaining on his deal with the Premier League side at the end of the season. 

Hazard's former Chelsea team-mate and compatriot Thibaut Courtois was in a similar situation in the previous transfer window, allowing Real Madrid to bring him in for a knockdown price eventually. 

As relayed by Kieran Canning of Agence France-Presse, it has been reported by Marca that Los Blancos will use a similar strategy to try to entice Hazard to the Santiago Bernabeu:

Kieran Canning @KieranCanning

Hazard back on front page of Marca tomorrow with Madrid's plan apparently hoping to repeat the route to the deal for Courtois, even if Hazard has specifically said that's what he wants to avoid https://t.co/jn2hj5Z2Tt

Per Kristof Terreur of Het Laatste Nieuws, the forward has said there's not been any fresh contract offer from Chelsea, although reports suggest a deal has been put to the Belgian:

Kristof Terreur 📰 @HLNinEngeland

Reading in Gazzetta that Chelsea have offered £300.000 a week to Eden Hazard (and that he’s ready to accept it). Didn’t Hazard say, just before the international break, that he was surprised that Chelsea hadn’t made an official offer as yet? #cfc https://t.co/HfRqfkfQfI

It would be galling if the Blues were to lose Hazard for a reduced fee, especially as the 27-year-old appears on course for the best season of his career.

He's netted seven goals already in the Premier League in 2018-19, excelling in the setup put in place by manager Maurizio Sarri. Hazard is given freedom to roam from the left flank, making him tough for defenders to contain.

The goals have followed, and while Hazard has always been regarded as one of the most naturally talented footballers on the planet, that ruthlessness in the final third hasn't always been there. Now he appears to have found that crucial productivity to push on to the next level.

According to WhoScored.com's rating system, he's been the best player in Europe's top five leagues over the last six games:

WhoScored.com @WhoScored

Eden Hazard tops the form rankings across Europe's top five leagues as the international break kicks off Read @martinlaurence7's article now -- https://t.co/d2gluVstII https://t.co/ph46W9SP5x

If he can maintain those levels throughout the season, then it would be no surprise to see Madrid move for him. After all, Los Blancos still appear to be lacking a star man in attack following the sale of Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus in the summer.

Although stylistically different to Ronaldo, Hazard is capable of piecing attacks together, creating chances and scoring goals. Should his contract remain unsigned going into next summer, it will leave Buck and the rest of the Chelsea hierarchy in a difficult position.