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Eden Hazard has confirmed he will sign a new contract at Chelsea after Thibaut Courtois does the same.
According to the Mirror‘s Jack Rathborn, the Belgian was asked if he would pen a new deal at Stamford Bridge and replied: “Yes. I think Thibaut first. Then I will sign.”
Courtois’ contract expires in 2019, while Hazard’s follows a year later.
The pair were attending NBA London on Thursday, and Hazard reaffirmed his commitment to Chelsea in conversation with a fan, per ESPN UK:
ESPN UK @ESPNUK
Eden Hazard tells a fan at #NBALondon that he will NEVER leave Chelsea! https://t.co/EO6iN1js4T
Hazard is the Blues’ best and most important player, so tying him down to a new deal is imperative—while he still has over two years remaining on his contract, Chelsea do not want to find themselves in a similar situation to Arsenal with Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil.
The forward recently celebrated his 27th birthday, prompting Squawka Football to illustrate his contributions to Chelsea since he joined in 2012:
Squawka Football @Squawka
Happy 27th birthday to Eden Hazard!
The fourth player to be directly involved in 100 Premier League goals for Chelsea. 🔵 https://t.co/0pN0pzNX6e
He has also been included in UEFA’s Team of the Year for 2017 alongside Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
B/R Football @brfootball
UEFA names its 2017 Team of the Year 🔥 https://t.co/7M0oFjxUPc
A player of his calibre should perhaps have posted greater numbers during his time at Stamford Bridge, and that is one aspect of his game that separates him from the two superstars.
Nevertheless, he’s Chelsea’s most potent threat in the final third thanks to his electric pace, dribbling and creativity, and he’d be very difficult to replace.
For Courtois, the situation is even more pressing as he could be the subject of cut-price offers in the summer if he has not signed a new deal at the club by then, and as one of the world’s elite goalkeepers replacing him would be similarly tricky.
Hazard’s comments will no doubt come as a relief to Chelsea fans, but speculation over their future will likely continue until the deals are signed.