MX23RW : Sunday, October 21 21:54:29

Honest Hazard has ‘hard decision’ to make over his future

The Belgian has hit seven Premier League goals this season.

Eden Hazard admits he is torn between signing a new Chelsea contract and a dream move to Real Madrid.

The in-form Belgium forward, who has two years remaining on his existing Stamford Bridge deal, was heavily linked with a move to the Bernabeu following the World Cup.

Hazard has begun the season in sensational style for the Blues but has now cast fresh doubt over his future.

Eden Hazard
Eden Hazard scored the opening goal at Southampton on Sunday (Andrew Matthews/PA)

“I want what’s good for me, but I want what’s good for the club because the club has given me everything,” he was quoted as saying in several national newspapers.

“I don’t want to say: ‘Yes, I am signing a new contract’ and then in the end I don’t end up signing.

“So I will see. Sometimes in my head, I wake up in the morning and think I want to go.

“Sometimes I think I want to stay. It is a hard decision. It is my future.”

Hazard tops the Premier League goal-scoring charts with seven after claiming the opener in the unbeaten Blues’ 3-0 win at Southampton on Sunday.

He will turn 28 in January and accepts he probably has one more big transfer before retirement, describing Real as the “best club in the world”.

“That’s why I spoke after the World Cup and I said that I think it is time to change because I played a great World Cup,” he added.

Bernabeu
Hazard is tempted by a move to the Bernabeu (Nick Potts/PA)

“I am really in the game, I am playing good football at the moment.

“Real Madrid is the best club in the world. I don’t want to lie today.

“It is my dream since I was a kid. I was dreaming about this club. We will see.

“I don’t want to talk about this every day. I don’t have time, but we will talk about my future soon. I think so.”

Hazard’s strike and second-half efforts from Ross Barkley and substitute Alvaro Morata at St Mary’s meant Maurizio Sarri’s side ended the weekend joint top of the table, level on points with Manchester City and Liverpool.

Sarri has dropped just four points from eight games since replacing fellow Italian Antonio Conte in the summer.

Despite the impressive start, the former Napoli coach believes it may be difficult for his club to maintain their place among the division’s pace-setters.

Maurizio Sarri
Maurizio Sarri has enjoyed a strong start in England (Andrew Matthews/PA)

“At the moment I think exactly what I thought one week ago,” said Sarri. “I think Manchester City and Liverpool now are a step forward of us.

“We need to recover the gap, the gap in the Premier League last season was 30 points between City and Chelsea, so now at the moment we are trying to cover the gap.

“We are working for covering the gap but I think it will be very difficult to cover so large a gap in only one season.”

Meanwhile, defender Antonio Rudiger has pulled out of the Germany squad with a groin problem.

He said on Twitter: “I will do some individual training sessions during the int. break and I’m confident to be back soon.”

Defeat for Southampton leaves them with only one win from their last 15 league games in front of their own fans.

Mark Hughes
Mark Hughes’ Southampton have won once in the league this season (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Saints manager Mark Hughes expects Chelsea to be in contention for top spot in the closing weeks of the season but admitted his team must improve.

“There will always be contenders because of the talent they have,” he said.

“I was very impressed by them but we expect ourselves to be able to cope with that better than we were able to show.”

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