Guus Hiddink has told Eden Hazard to focus on his career at Chelsea amid speculation the midfielder could join Paris Saint-Germain in the summer.
Speaking to Le Parisien on Monday Hazard claimed it would be “difficult to say no to PSG, or to any of the teams capable of winning the Champions League”, but ahead of Chelsea’s date with the Ligue 1 leaders on Tuesday night Hiddink was quick to re-focus Hazard on the job in hand.
Asked how confident he was the 25-year-old would remain at Stamford Bridge next season, Hiddink said: “Well, he has a contract that he extended but first he must get fit and show he is a top player and then for Chelsea, which is a top club, he can be of huge value. In the near future there will be more speculation about who is coming here or who is going but I don’t go into that.”
The Dutch coach, who is unbeaten in 11 matches in charge, also took a swipe at the French league and said all the top players in the world want to play in the biggest leagues and then omitted Ligue 1 as he listed Europe’s elite divisions.
“PSG have big targets to win the Champions League and, step by step, they have gathered a reputation and are very serious about becoming one of the biggest teams in Europe, so this challenge, I can understand. But it is a different league. France is not a bad league but this team are now ahead [of second-placed Monaco] by 24 points. For me, I think big, big, big players always like to be in the biggest league, which is the Premier League, La Liga and also the Bundesliga,” added Hiddink.
Hazard, who completed his first full match of the year in the 5-1 win over Newcastle will play some part in Tuesday’s last-16 tie against PSG at Parc des Princes. The attacking star, who has a contract until 2020, has struggled to hit the form he produced last season when he won the Player of the Year award.
The former Lille man has only scored once for Chelsea all season – in the FA Cup win at MK Dons – and speculation linking him with Real Madrid last month were quickly dampened down by his father.