Jose Mourinho confident of Eden Hazard deal
Jose Mourinho expects Eden Hazard to sign a long-term deal with Chelsea after announcing the Belgium playmaker is discussing a contract extension.
London: Jose Mourinho expects Eden Hazard to sign a long-term deal with Chelsea after announcing the Belgium playmaker is discussing a contract extension.
The 23-year-old signed for a reported £32 million ($52 million, 40 million euros) from Lille in 2012 and has become a key figure in his two years at Stamford Bridge.
Hazard has three years to run on his current deal but Mourinho believes Chelsea will want him to commit to a longer contract in a bid to ward off interest from rival clubs.
"We have big hopes that he will go from a top player to reach higher levels," said Chelsea manager Mourinho, speaking on the eve of the Champions League Group G opener with Schalke.
"He`s a player we want to keep. It`s true Chelsea is trying to have an agreement for a new contract.
"It will be a question of time. It will end with a new contract.
"He wants to commit to us and we want to commit to him for the future."
Mourinho said Hazard had it in him to become an even better player.
"His talent allows him to think about going from a top player to become one of the greats of his generation," the Portuguese boss explained,
"We are very proud that he thinks Chelsea is the perfect environment for him to have that evolution.
"That`s why he wants to commit to us and we want to commit to him for the future too.
"It will be a question of time, but it will end with a new contract."
Hazard, who has continually been linked with Paris Saint-Germain, now wears the number 10 shirt vacated by Juan Mata last January and previously worn by his idol Zinedine Zidane.
"We are feeling day by day his motivation to work hard and to improve," said Mourinho. "He`s a kid that was always leaning on his natural talent, which is amazing, and from a certain moment he was starting to have some tactical education, mental education.
"It`s clear the improvement.
"It was a big evolution from the Eden I met in Thailand (in July 2013), where we started pre-season, and the Eden that ended the season. This season, even more."