The Chelsea playmaker Eden Hazard has reignited speculation over his future by saying it would be difficult to rebuff an approach from Tuesday night’s Champions League opponents Paris St-Germain.
Hazard, signed from Lille for around £32m in June 2012, has been repeatedly courted by Real Madrid and PSG after his scintillating performances last season when Chelsea won the Premier League and Capital One Cup.
The Belgian’s displays this season have been less emphatic and Chelsea’s lowly league position means a likely absence of Champions League football next term – unless Guus Hiddink’s side beat PSG in the last-16 tie, the first leg of which takes place at Parc des Princes on Tuesday, and go on to win this season’s European Cup.
A summer of transition is likely, but a player exodus is possible if Chelsea are not in Europe’s elite competition.
The 25-year-old told Le Parisien: “[It is] difficult to say no to PSG, or to any of the teams capable of winning the Champions League. PSG are now in that category. And for me, winning the Champions League is my main aim.”
Hazard attempted to backtrack, pointing to his contract that expires in 2020, but the timing of his comments will cause alarm with Chelsea facing the most important week of their season as Manchester City visit in the FA Cup on Sunday.
“For the moment, I’m not really thinking about [a move],” Hazard added. Hazard scored his first goal of the season in the 31 January FA Cup win over MK Dons, when he returned from a groin injury.
He recently admitted he sent a message of apology to José Mourinho after the Portuguese was sacked as Chelsea manager in December.