Eden Hazard has ruled out a January transfer to Real Madrid, but continued to arouse suspicions of an upcoming transfer by suggesting that he may need to move to Spain to win the Ballon d’Or.
Sources in Belgium believe that Hazard will continue to stall over a new contract in the hope and expectation that Real Madrid launch a huge move to sign the playmaker next summer.
In a pre-season meeting, Hazard assured new Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri that he would provide his full commitment for the entirety of this campaign and he has stayed true to his word by beginning the season in electric fashion.
Hazard, who was in a mischievous mood as he spoke to the Belgian media, did give a very clear ‘No’ when it was suggested he could leave Chelsea in the winter transfer window.
Hazard, whose contract has just 20 months to run, said: ‘I have already said a lot about my future but it is not an option to leave in January.’
He has eight goals already this season for Chelsea and when asked if he is currently the best player in the world, a grinning Hazard said:
‘Yes. The team is helping me a lot also. I can improve for sure. We can always improve in football.
‘We can score more goals, more assists. But honestly, I think I have been in better shape before than I am now.
‘Statistically speaking, this is as good a start as I have ever had. But on the pitch in my general performance, I have played better for both Lille and Chelsea.’
During the past 13 years, only two players operating outside of Spanish club football have won the coveted Ballon d’Or. Cristiano Ronaldo won the prize during his Manchester United days in 2008 while Brazilian star Kaka claimed the trophy the year before while playing for AC Milan.
Since then, the honour has been shared between Lionel Messi and Ronaldo. This year’s favourite is Luka Modric after he won the Champions League with Real Madrid before reaching the World Cup final with Croatia.
When it was put to Hazard that he needs to play in Spain to win the Ballon d’Or, he smiled and said:
‘That’s why I want to go, maybe.’