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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 19 June 2018

FA Cup final: Eden Hazard challenges Chelsea to bolster squad in summer

Belgian considers extension at Premier League club, but he wants to see arrival of 'good players' to win trophies

Eden Hazard, in blue, has been unsettled at Chelsea. Scott Heppell / Reuters
Eden Hazard, in blue, has been unsettled at Chelsea. Scott Heppell / Reuters

Eden Hazard has challenged Chelsea to match his ambitions with new signings to bolster the squad.

The 27-year-old Belgium playmaker is under contract until 2020 and is reportedly mulling over an extension.

Chelsea pulled off a coup in signing Hazard in the summer of 2012, but the club's transfer business has been more circumspect since.

Asked what would persuade him to sign, Hazard said: "I'm waiting for new players next season. I want good players because I want to win next season the Premier League."

Hazard acknowledges this is likely his last lucrative, long-term deal. But he made it clear he was in no rush to leave amid persistent rumours linking him with Real Madrid.

"That's why I'm taking my time. It's something big. I need to think about a lot of things," he added. "One thing I'm sure is that I'm happy here."

Any supporters seeking reassurance that Saturday's FA Cup final with Manchester United would not be Hazard's last match for Chelsea could take some encouragement from his words on Tuesday.

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"I think it's not my last game. It's the last game of the season, that's it," he added. "For me in my mind I'm here. I have one week to play now. Saturday is a massive game. I just want to win."

Hazard, who will go to the World Cup with Belgium this summer, said he was not sure when his future would be resolved.

He also insisted the uncertainty surrounding Antonio Conte's position as manager has had no impact on the squad.

Conte's future has been the subject of speculation all season, with many expecting the Italian to leave this summer.

"We don't think about that. We're just focused on the game," Hazard added. "We have one game to play and then we'll see what happens at the end of the season."

Hazard announced his arrival at Chelsea after their memorable Uefa Champions League win six years ago.

And if Chelsea can lift the FA Cup on Saturday then the European Cup will be the one major honour to elude him during his time at Stamford Bridge.

"I need two more trophies, Champions League and FA Cup. That's it," Hazard said.

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Antonio Conte's future at Chelsea is yet uncertain after a disappointing season. Ian MacNicol / Getty Images
Antonio Conte's future at Chelsea is yet uncertain after a disappointing season. Ian MacNicol / Getty Images

Chelsea won the Premier League in Conte's first season as manager for Hazard's second championship winners' medal in England.

But the Blues finished fifth this term and have failed to qualify for next season's Champions League.

"We're Chelsea. We need trophies at the end of the season," Hazard added. "At the moment we have nothing. We have not qualified for the Champions League. So the season has been bad.

"If we can't be in the Champions League we need the trophy.

"It's up to us to save the season with the FA Cup. I've never won the FA Cup. I hope this year is for me and for Chelsea. We will give everything."

Chelsea and Hazard face a familiar foe in Jose Mourinho, who had two spells as Blues manager.

"We know how he will play. We all know that. That's why we need to be ready," Hazard said.