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Conte unable to give reassurances over Hazard

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has conceded he cannot guarantee Eden Hazard will still be at the club next season, amid reported interest from Real Madrid.

Chelsea’s Belgian midfielder Eden Hazard celebrates scoring his team’s third goal during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England, on December 3, 2016. AFP

Hazard has bounced back in spectacular fashion from a disappointing 2015-16 campaign, scoring 15 goals to take Chelsea to within sight of the Premier League title.

While Conte is adamant Chelsea do not want to sell the 26-year-old, he admits he cannot say with certainty the Belgian forward will not leave Stamford Bridge.

“I think that it’s impossible for me to take this responsibility. Not only for Eden, but for every single player,” said the Italian, in comments printed by British newspapers on Saturday.

“In this situation, the club has the final decision. I can tell my opinion about this situation, but the club has the final word about this situation. I think this is right.

“I don’t think that this idea (to sell Hazard) is in the mind of the club because I think that we have to improve the team, reinforce the team. But you know that in football there is also the will of the player.

“But I think also Eden is very happy to stay in Chelsea. I can tell this, but I don’t have a crystal ball for the future.

“I think anything is possible in football. But not only for Eden, but for every single player.”

Chelsea are four points clear at the top of the table ahead of Sunday’s trip to Everton.


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