Eden Hazard calms talk of switch to PSG as Chelsea remain interested in Ezequiel Lavezzi
The Belgian forward declined the opportunity to stoke speculation
Eden Hazard has played down talk of a summer switch to Paris Saint-Germain as Chelsea prepare to lure Ezequiel Lavezzi in the other direction.
The French champions have made no secret of the fact the Belgian forward is their top target this summer, but while their negotiations with Chelsea over David Luiz went well, they may have more difficulty over Hazard.
The 23-year-old, who is currently preparing for the World Cup, played down talk of a move when asked about the link with PSG.
“If you got to know me you’d know I’m not someone who is disturbed by it," he said. "Every year they say I’m everywhere. It’s part of the job. I focus on the World Cup which is much more important than what is said in the papers.”
PSG have already agreed to pay £48m for Luiz from Chelsea — a world record fee for a defender — but that has not stopped the French champions hoping to lure Hazard too.
That interest comes despite the Ligue 1 side having just been fined by Uefa for failing to comply with Financial Fair Play rules last season and are under pressure to reduce their budget to avoid a similar punishment next year.
PSG are prepared to offload some of their big name players to comply with FFP and raise transfer funds in the process.
Chelsea are determined to keep Hazard, who joined from Lille for £32m in 2012 and won the PFA Young Player of the Year Award in April.
The Evening Standard revealed in March that the club are looking to negotiate a new contract with the attacking midfielder — even though his existing deal still has three years left to run — and take his salary above £200,000-a-week.
Hazard’s relationship with manager Jose Mourinho soured in the latter part of the season as he appeared to question the side’s tactics and style of play.
Jose Mourinho at a press conference announcing his UN role in London
Mourinho responded by suggesting the winger wasn’t a ‘team player’, although they seemed to be back on good terms at Chelsea’s end-of-season awards dinner, when the manager handed Hazard his Player of the Year award voted by the club’s supporters.
Team-mate Andre Schurrle is also convinced their spat won’t cause Hazard to leave Stamford Bridge, and said: “The manager and the club know that Eden Hazard is a very talented player. I think we should not overestimate these things.
“Of course statements were published, but I believe Eden is very happy to be with Chelsea and Mourinho is happy to have him. Next season everything will be all right again.”
Chelsea did use the negotiations with PSG over Luiz, however, to make an enquiry for 29-year-old forward Lavezzi.
Mourinho wants to buy at least two forwards this summer and with a £32m deal for Atletico Madrid star Diego Costa expected to be completed shortly, Lavezzi has been earmarked along with Bayern Munich’s Mario Mandzukic, as a candidate for the other berth.
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