Champions League

Chelsea celebrate before facing uncertain future without Hazard

2019-05-30 08:26
Eden Hazard
Eden Hazard (Getty Images)

London - Eden Hazard helped make it a night to celebrate for Chelsea in Baku, but the Belgian's confirmation that it was almost certainly his last game for the club opened the way to a summer of uncertainty at Stamford Bridge.

Hazard scored twice, including a penalty, and set up another goal for Pedro Rodriguez after Olivier Giroud had set Chelsea on their way to an emphatic 4-1 win over London rivals Arsenal in the Europa League final in Azerbaijan.

Maurizio Sarri's side deserved their victory as they won the competition for the second time in Hazard's seven-year spell at the club.

They will be back in the Champions League next season, by which time Hazard looks set to be wearing a Real Madrid shirt.

"I have made my decision already and now I'm waiting on both clubs. I think it is a goodbye, but in football you never know," Hazard told BT Sport after the game.

The 28 year-old, whose Chelsea contract expires next year, has long been linked with Madrid and all signs point towards a transfer that could be worth in the region of €100 million.

"My dream was to play in the Premier League and I have done that for one of the biggest clubs so maybe now it is the time for a new challenge."

Chelsea have known this moment was coming, but it is a huge concern for a club who are facing up to a FIFA-imposed ban on signing players in the next two transfer windows, pending an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

"I have a special relationship with him on the pitch and off it. He's a mate. I am really happy for him and for his future. We will miss him," said Giroud.

"He deserves it too, after seven years of good and loyal service to Chelsea. He deserves a new challenge."

Hazard will now hope to go on and win the Champions League, a trophy Chelsea lifted in 2012 just before signing the Belgian from Lille. In his time in west London, Hazard has won two Premier League titles, one FA Cup and a League Cup as well as two Europa Leagues.

"I knew. I knew Eden wanted to leave, of course, but as I said in every press conference, I wanted to respect his decision," said Sarri.

Sarri set for talks

This was the former Napoli coach's first major trophy in management at the age of 60, at the end of a season in which he also steered Chelsea to third place in the Premier League to secure a return to the Champions League before this game, but it remains to be seen if the Italian will stick around for a second season.

He has struggled to win over supporters at Stamford Bridge and has been strongly linked with a move to Juventus.

The vacancy at the Serie A champions may be infinitely more tempting than staying to pick up the pieces at Chelsea without being able to sign a replacement for Hazard.

"I have to speak to my club. The season finished one hour ago but tomorrow I will begin to speak to my club, with the owner, with the director, with Marina (Granovskaia)," Sarri admitted.

"We need to know what the club can do for me, what I can do better for the club. Then in a couple of days we will decide, but I have a contract so at the moment we are talking about nothing."

Any talks with Granovskaia and owner Roman Abramovich - who was present in Baku - are likely to centre around what sort of squad Sarri would have at his disposal next season.

"You know very well that I love the Premier League, the level of the competition.

"I am lucky because I am at Chelsea, one of the best clubs in the Premier League, in the best championship in the world, so at the moment I am happy, but of course I want to know if the club is happy, if we can improve."

Read more on:    chelsea  |  europa league  |  eden hazard  |  soccer

 

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Fixtures
Tuesday, 01 October 2019
Atalanta v Shakhtar Donetsk, San Siro 18:55
Real Madrid v Club Brugge, Santiago Bernabeu 18:55
Juventus v Bayer Leverkusen, Allianz Stadium 21:00
Manchester City v Dinamo Zagreb, Etihad Stadium 21:00
Lokomotiv Moscow v Atletico Madrid, Lokomotiv Stadium 21:00
Red Star Belgrade v Olympiacos, Stadion Rajko Mitic 21:00
Tottenham Hotspur v Bayern Munchen, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium 21:00
Galatasaray v Paris SG, Turk Telekom Arena 21:00
Wednesday, 02 October 2019
Slavia Prague v Borussia Dortmund, Eden Arena 18:55
Genk v Napoli, Luminus Arena 18:55
Liverpool v Red Bull Salzburg, Anfield 21:00
Barcelona v Inter Milan, Camp Nou 21:00
Valencia v Ajax, Mestalla 21:00
RB Leipzig v Lyon, Red Bull Arena 21:00
Zenit St. Petersburg v Benfica, Saint Petersburg Stadium 21:00
Lille v Chelsea, Stade Pierre-Mauroy 21:00
Tuesday, 22 October 2019
Shakhtar Donetsk v Dinamo Zagreb, Metalist Stadium 18:55
Atletico Madrid v Bayer Leverkusen, Wanda Metropolitano 18:55
Juventus v Lokomotiv Moscow, Allianz Stadium 21:00
Manchester City v Atalanta, Etihad Stadium 21:00
Club Brugge v Paris SG, Jan Breydel Stadion 21:00
Olympiacos v Bayern Munchen, Karaiskakis Stadium 21:00
Tottenham Hotspur v Red Star Belgrade, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium 21:00
Galatasaray v Real Madrid, Turk Telekom Arena 21:00
Wednesday, 23 October 2019
Ajax v Chelsea, Amsterdam ArenA 18:55
RB Leipzig v Zenit St. Petersburg, Red Bull Arena 18:55
Benfica v Lyon, da Luz 21:00
Slavia Prague v Barcelona, Eden Arena 21:00
Genk v Liverpool, Luminus Arena 21:00
Red Bull Salzburg v Napoli, Red Bull Arena 21:00
Inter Milan v Borussia Dortmund, San Siro 21:00
Lille v Valencia, Stade Pierre-Mauroy 21:00
Tuesday, 05 November 2019
Barcelona v Slavia Prague, Camp Nou 19:55
Zenit St. Petersburg v RB Leipzig, Saint Petersburg Stadium 19:55
Liverpool v Genk, Anfield 22:00
Lyon v Benfica, Groupama Stadium 22:00
Valencia v Lille, Mestalla 22:00
Napoli v Red Bull Salzburg, San Paolo 22:00
Borussia Dortmund v Inter Milan, Signal Iduna Park 22:00
Chelsea v Ajax, Stamford Bridge 22:00
Wednesday, 06 November 2019
Bayern Munchen v Olympiacos, Allianz Arena 19:55
Lokomotiv Moscow v Juventus, Lokomotiv Stadium 19:55
Atalanta v Manchester City, Atleti Azzurri d'Italia 22:00
Bayer Leverkusen v Atletico Madrid, BayArena 22:00
Dinamo Zagreb v Shakhtar Donetsk, Maksimir Stadium 22:00
Paris SG v Club Brugge, Parc des Princes 22:00
Real Madrid v Galatasaray, Santiago Bernabeu 22:00
Red Star Belgrade v Tottenham Hotspur, Stadion Rajko Mitic 22:00
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