Maurizio Sarri has stated Eden Hazard is free to leave the club, although the Chelsea boss remains hopeful the Belgian superstar decides to stay at Stamford Bridge.

With over 300 appearances in all competitions for the west London side plus a century of goals, Hazard has become one of the most important members of the Blues squad since joining from Lille in 2012. This season, he has gone another level under Sarri, having already notched 10 goals and 10 assists in the league. Yet despite reaching another gear, the Belgian forward has stated his dream of playing for La Liga giants Real Madrid.

Hazard Contract Situation

However, Chelsea are keen to keep their prized superstar in England. Hazard’s current contract expires at the end of the 2019-2020 season and the Blues have offered the 28-year-old a fresh deal that would reportedly make him the highest-paid player in Sarri’s squad.

Negotiations have been going on for more than a year now and with the Belgian’s wish of donning the white shirt of Los Merengues not exactly a secret, it remains to be seen whether he would put pen to paper. If a deal has not been reached by the end of the current campaign, Chelsea would be put in a difficult position regarding Hazard’s situation and may decide to cash in on the Belgian instead of losing him for free in the summer of 2020.

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Sarri on Hazard’s Transfer Situation

While Sarri has reiterated he is keen to keep Hazard at Chelsea, he would be powerless to stop the 28-year-old from leaving. “Eden is 28. If he wants to go, I think he has to go,” said the Chelsea head coach. “Of course, I hope the opposite, I hope he wants to stay here. He has the potential to be the best player in Europe at the moment.”

“Sometimes, he’s happy with something less. It’s my job to improve him in a position to do his best. Sometimes I have to say something in the press-room on that. It’s normal. It’s my job. But I was really very happy with the performance [against Tottenham Hotspur].”