Eden Hazard can become the world’s best player by staying at Chelsea, according to Blues boss Maurizio Sarri.
Hazard says it is “not a problem” if a move to Real Madrid fails to materialise as he would be happy to finish his career with the London club.
And Sarri reckons the 27-year-old playmaker can realise his ambition of winning the Ballon d’Or at Stamford Bridge.
“He’s a fantastic player,” Sarri said.
“And so it will be very important for us if he will remain with us. Very, very important.
“I think also he can win everything, also the Ballon d’Or, here, without playing in Spain.
“Because, for example, if Chelsea were able to win the Champions League, Belgium won the European Championships, he would be able to win everything, without playing in Spain.”
Hazard has spoken of his daily quandary over his future, whether to extend his Chelsea contract which expires in June 2020, or seek a “dream” move to Real.
And his sparkling form helping Belgium finish third at the World Cup and in starting the Premier League season with seven goals in eight starts and two substitute appearances has highlighted the issue of his future.
“I can finish with Chelsea,” Hazard told Sky Sports ahead of Saturday’s match with Manchester United.
“No problem at all. I am very happy with this club, with the team, my family is happy here.
“So If I don’t go to Spain, it is not a problem.
“I love the fans – I think the fans love me.
“What happens in the future, I will be happy, so that’s it.”
Hazard joined Chelsea from Lille in June 2012 and signed his current contract in February 2015.
He has appeared to rule out a January switch to Madrid in one of many public pronouncements on the situation in the October international break, comments which were perhaps designed to gauge whether Real’s reported interest is genuine.
If no contract extension is agreed by the end of this season, Chelsea could risk Hazard leaving on a free transfer the following summer so could look to cash in on him.