Eden Hazard is set to sign a new contract with Chelsea and could go on to become one of the club’s greatest players, says manager Jose Mourinho.
The 23-year-old has become an increasingly-influential force in the side since joining from Lille in 2012 and has been in fine form of late, racking up four goals in his last seven matches.
Despite long-standing interest from Chelsea’s upcoming Champions League opponents Paris St Germain, the Belgian is close to signing a new deal reported to be worth £200,000-a-week and Mourinho revealed a conversation with Hazard’s father left him in no doubt about the extension.
“He will (sign),” he said. “I was never worried about it, since the moment I met his father. Everything was very clear about their intentions and their happiness to stay with Chelsea.
“After that, it becomes a numbers situation. When it becomes a number situation, I’m more than happy to be out. But my club always told me that the situation would finish with a new contract, so I was never worried about that.”
Hazard has justified the £32m Chelsea paid, with his fine performances last term earning him the PFA Young Player of the Year award.
He was part of Chelsea’s Europa League-winning side of 2013 and looks likely to add to that medal this season with the club still challenging in four competitions.
Mourinho believes Hazard can go on to become a legend at Stamford Bridge but warned he will be judged by the titles he helps the club to win.
“I think so, I think so,” Mourinho said when asked. “He needs to win titles because titles make players’ history.
“I don’t know players who are considered legends in clubs without winning titles, so he has to do that but the potential, I think, everybody knows.”
Chelsea face Stoke City on Monday night and Mourinho confirmed Kurt Zouma and Didier Drogba will be available after overcoming knocks sustained in the Capital One Cup victory over Derby, while he is also optimistic Thibaut Courtois.
The Belgian goalkeeper has missed the previous two matches with a muscular injury, but looks set to come in for Petr Cech at the Britannia Stadium – a decision Mourinho says was easy, despite the Chelsea stalwart’s displays.
“No,” he said when asked if it was tougher to bring Courtois back in.
“Petr’s performances are the normal performances from one of the three best goalkeepers in the world, so simple.
“I think Courtois will be back. I can’t confirm 100 per cent, but I think so.”
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