Chelsea will resist any bids for Eden Hazard, who they are confident is not looking to join Real Madrid, and are prepared to reward his superb form with a new contract.
Hazard’s excellent performances have reignited Real’s long-standing interest in the forward, along with Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.
But the Premier League leaders believe both players are happy at Stamford Bridge and will not attempt to force moves to Spain this summer.
Hazard has told friends that he will be at Chelsea next season, while goalkeeper Courtois this week claimed he will not be joining Real at the end of the season and that he would “certainly” sign a new contract with the Blues.
That has reinforced optimism that Hazard and Courtois will not have their heads turned by any public attempts to unsettle them by Real, which appeared to start on Friday with suggestions coming out of Spain that the La Liga leaders will bid for the duo.
Hazard is already Chelsea’s highest-paid player, having signed a £200,000-a-week contract, plus bonuses, two years ago but the 26-year-old could earn a significant increase after rediscovering his best form this season.
While there is no rush to agree a new deal with Hazard, as there are still over three years remaining on his current contract, Chelsea are prepared to offer him new terms that would guarantee he remains the club’s highest earner.
Hazard has scored 11 goals this season and, along with N’Golo Kante, has been Chelsea’s best player in their revival under head coach Antonio Conte.
In an interview with Telegraph Sport earlier this month, Hazard revealed his enjoyment working under Conte by saying: “Fantastic manager. He gives the spirit to the team. For me, it is a privilege to play with this manager, and I hope we can achieve something together.”
Hazard, who is recovering from a calf injury, is known to shun the celebrity lifestyle in favour of spending time with his family, who are settled near Chelsea’s Cobham training ground.
Conte, who is also set to be offered a new contract, is adamant Hazard and Courtois must remain at Chelsea with the club set to re-enter the Champions League next season.
Other than Courtois, Real are also interested in Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea and Tottenham Hotspur’s Hugo Lloris.
Chelsea are ready to embark on an aggressive pursuit of players in the summer transfer window, with Alvaro Morata, Romelu Lukaku, Tiemoue Bakayoko, Ross Barkley and Virgil van Dijk all on their radar.
It has been speculated in Spain that Chelsea’s interest in Morata could be used by Real as way of attempting to open negotiations with Chelsea over Hazard and Courtois.
But Chelsea are not interested in any deal for striker Morata, who wants to move to Stamford Bridge, that would see either Hazard or Courtois move the other way.
Diego Costa’s future remains uncertain, with sources claiming Chelsea will listen to any summer bids for the striker who has attracted interest from China and his former club Atletico Madrid.
Chelsea and Conte will also have to decide whether or not to consider offers for Willian, who will assess his situation at the end of the season after spending longer than he anticipated on the substitutes’ bench under Conte.
Willian, who signed a new four-year contract last summer, has been fighting for a place with Pedro Rodriguez this season and has often seen the Spaniard preferred to him.
Captain John Terry is not expected to be offered a new contract, while Asmir Begovic is still wanted by Bournemouth, who tried to sign the goalkeeper in January, and AC Milan are lining up a bid for Cesc Fabregas.
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