Hazard future hope aired by Zola as Chelsea seek 'long' stay

The Blues legend, who is now assistant to Maurizio Sarri, is looking for the Belgian forward to establish himself as one of the club’s all-time greats

Chelsea are looking for Eden Hazard to take in a “long” stay with the club, with Gianfranco Zola hoping to see an end to long-running transfer talk.

Speculation continues to suggest that the Belgian forward’s days at Stamford Bridge may be numbered.

Real Madrid have made no secret of their admiration for the 27-year-old, while Hazard has dropped regular hints suggesting that his future will lie in Spain.

Chelsea are, however, refusing to accept that a move is inevitable, as they seek to agree fresh terms with a key man, and Zola is looking for a talismanic presence to cement a standing as an all-time great in west London.

The Blues legend, who is now assistant to Maurizio Sarri, told reporters in the wake of Hazard’s match-winning showing in a Carabao Cup clash with Bournemouth: “He’s certainly one of the players who has given this club a lot of satisfaction.

“He is 27, and hopefully he will stay long with us and become even bigger.”

Chelsea had been hoping to avoid giving Hazard another run out against the Cherries, as he nursed a foot complaint.

He was, however, required to step off the bench.

Having been introduced, Hazard proceeded to register the only goal of the game and book a semi-final showdown with capital rivals Tottenham.

“The difference was the changes we made. When Pedro and Eden came on, they gave us an extra gear,” Zola said.

“Eden is the type of player who can make a big difference when he comes on, even for 20 minutes.”

Hazard has now netted in back-to-back matches, having previously gone 12 games without a goal for club and country.

He is into double figures for the season and is just one effort short of reaching 100 for Chelsea.

Another opportunity to hit that landmark will present itself on Saturday when Sarri’s side, who sit fourth in the Premier League table, play host to Leicester.

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