Real Madrid: Hazard response conceals firm desire to move
At Chelsea's annual awards ceremony on Friday, Eden Hazard reacted to calls for him to renew his Blues contract by replying: "Where's the pen?"
Friday was a special night for Chelsea's Eden Hazard, who - barring a surprise turn of events - will fulfil his dream of joining Real Madrid this summer. As Los Blancos work to seal a deal with the Premier League club (as things stand, Blues director Marina Granovskaia is refusing to lower her asking price), the Belgian is busy making sure he brings his Stamford Bridge career to a glorious conclusion.
Hazard eager to go out with European silverware
At Chelsea's annual awards ceremony, held at the five-star Royal Lancaster Hotel in central London, Hazard secured an unprecedented treble, becoming the first man ever to scoop the club's Player of the Year, Players' Player of the Year and Goal of the Season gongs in the same campaign. Voted for by the supporters, his Player of the Year prize was his fourth in seven seasons at Chelsea. "My relationship with the fans has been really good since I came here," he said as he collected the accolade.
"Where's the pen?" - Hazard to renewal pleas
Amid an informal, upbeat atmosphere, shouts of "sign the contract!" reached the stage from an audience eager for Hazard to extend his stay at the six-time English champions. With a smile on his face, the star took the crescendo of pleas in his stride, cheerily replying: "Where's the pen?" Having made his mind up not to renew a Chelsea deal that runs out in 2020, however, the 28-year-old's response was, more than anything else, a bid to preserve the greatest possible harmony around the club as they prepare for the Europa League final in Baku on 29 May.
Right now, that's more important to him than his future beyond the end of the season - a future which, he is confident, involves him pulling on the white shirt...