Michael Ballack has urged Chelsea to recover their ambition of fighting for titles if they are to keep ahold of Belgian star Eden Hazard.
The La Liga giants have retained a long-standing interest in Hazard, who in turn has declared his dream of donning the famous white shirt of Madrid on multiple occasions. Matters came to a close last summer when the 28-year-old forward was heavily linked with the Bernabeu outfit and while no concrete offer ever materialised, rumours have continued to swirl around Madrid and Hazard.
Hazard’s contract with Chelsea runs until the summer of 2020 and with a new deal long on the table being ignored by the Belgian, the Blues hierarchy may be forced to sell the forward this coming summer than risk losing him for free. Earlier this month, Hazard has revealed he had already made a decision regarding his long-term future although he is yet to make it public.
Ballack has conceded that it is no surprise that the Belgian’s head has been turned by a massive club like Real Madrid, yet he remains adamant that the Belgian superstar will stay put at Stamford Bridge if the west Londoners show an ambition to recover their thirst for winning trophies.
“Normally with a club like that knocking on the door, of course it is in his head,” said the former Germany international. “It’s normal that he’s thinking about that because he’s an incredible player who would make a difference at any club, but hopefully he stays. Sometimes you have to consider other things when it comes to contracts. London is a nice place to live and he feels good with his team-mates.”
The winter transfer window arrival of Gonzalo Higuain and the imminent arrival of Christian Pulisic at Stamford Bridge point to Chelsea willing to splash the cash in order to strengthen their squad and Ballack hopes these new signings in part will convince Hazard that the Blues will go into the new campaign with designs on silverware.
“But you also have to give him an opportunity to win something,” added Ballack. “Over the last few years, Chelsea have lost a bit of the attitude of going into a season thinking they will win a trophy. If he starts feeling the club can’t give him that anymore, of course he will think differently. But as long as he has the feeling he can win something at Chelsea, hopefully it’s an option for him to stay.”