Chelsea’s Eden Hazard said it is still his “dream” to play for Real Madrid and he wants to “make it happen” but is determined not to leave under a cloud if he moves to Spain.
Chelsea are desperate to keep Hazard, who scored his seventh goal in eight Premier League appearances in Sunday’s 3-0 win at Southampton but is into the final year of his contract next summer.
Hazard, linked with a move to the Bernabeu in the summer, said he would be happy if he chose to stay at Chelsea but had a lifelong ambition to play for Madrid.
“Real Madrid is the best club in the world,” the Belgium international said after the Southampton game. “I don’t want to lie, it is my dream since I was a kid.
“We will see. I don’t want to talk about this every day. I don’t have time, but we will talk about my future soon.
“In my head, sometimes I wake up in the morning and think I want to go. Sometimes I think I want to stay. It is a hard decision. It is my future. I am 27 and I will turn 28 in January.
“It is also when you have a dream and you want to make it happen. It is like I have said a lot of times: if I leave I will be happy, I know if I stay I will be happy.”
Hazard said after the World Cup that “it might be time to discover something different” after six years at Chelsea, with Madrid his “preferred destination,” but the Blues said he was not for sale and no formal offer was made.
Compatriot Thibaut Courtois pushed through a move to Madrid by refusing to report for training after suggesting he would sign a new contract, but Hazard said that, if he left, he was determined to do so on good terms.
“I don’t want that [drama],” he added. “I want what’s good for me, but I want what’s good for the club because the club has given me everything. I don’t want to say: ‘Yes, I am signing a new contract,’ and then I don’t end up signing.
“I could talk now [about a new contract]. If they come to me, then I will talk. I don’t want to say that I am not talking with the club or the owner. I am talking a lot with them.
“I am happy and I don’t need anything. It is not trophies. Of course, when you play, you want to win but I just want to enjoy things on the pitch, like I am at the moment.
“I think that this is the best. We had some great results in the past so I can’t say that the managers before weren’t good, but I think in terms of football and the way we are playing, yes, this is the best.
“It is similar to how we played in France with Lille — a lot of pass and move, movement from the team. Then we also have good players in our team, so that’s why we are playing this great football.”