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Eden Hazard to leave Bridge

BAKU. — Eden Hazard has strongly hinted his two-goal performance in Chelsea’s 4-1 Europa League win over Arsenal on Wednesday night will be his final appearance for the English Premiership football club. The Belgian is entering the final year of his contract at Chelsea, who value Hazard at £130m, but Real Madrid are confident of signing him for no more than £88m, Sky Sports News understands.

Hazard, who has been with Chelsea for seven seasons and won six major honours with the club, told BT Sport after the final: “I think for the fans, for the boys, for the manager, for the staff, this is a great trophy to win.

“I don’t know yet (where my future lies). I think it will be decided in a few days. My target today was to win the trophy that’s it. That was the only thing in my mind.

“I took my decision already. I said that two weeks ago. Now it’s depending on the club. Both clubs. I’m just waiting. We will see. We will know in a couple of days.

“I think it’s a goodbye. But in football you never know. My dream was to play in the English Premier League and I did this for seven years for one of the biggest clubs in the world. Maybe it’s time for a new challenge.”

Maurizio Sarri praised Hazard’s personality after the final and revealed he had been expecting Hazard to leave Chelsea for some time.

“As you know he’s a wonderful player but you have to spend 2-3 months to understand him as a man,” said Sarri. “When you’re able to understand him as a man he’s a wonderful man.

“I knew that Eden wanted to leave, of course, but as I say in every press conference I want to respect his decision. Now I have to speak to my club.”

If the final in Baku was Hazard’s final match, then it brings to an end a seven-year association with Chelsea, having joined them for £32m from Lille in 2012.

Hazard has made 352 appearances for the Blues and his two goals in the final moved his tally for the club to 110.
Discussing his future, he said: “We will decide in a few days — the only target in my mind was to win this final. Maybe now it is the time for a new challenge.

“My dream was to play in the Premier League and I have done that for one of the biggest clubs.” — Sky Sports.

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