Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho values Eden Hazard at B£200million and says if Real Madrid wanted the Belgium playmaker, he would be among the first to know.
Real coach Zinedine Zidane this week spoke of his admiration for Hazard, who is favorite to be crowned PFA Player of the Year on Sunday night after a sparkling season for Chelsea.
Zidane is 24-year-old Hazard’s idol and the comments were interpreted as the beginning of a courtship designed to lure Hazard to the Bernabeu.
Asked if £100m would be enough for Chelsea to part with Hazard, Mourinho said: “Plus one of their three best players. £100m each leg, because he’s very young.”
The prospect of Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, James Rodriguez or Karim Benzema moving to Stamford Bridge would appeal to Chelsea supporters, but they would not wish to lose Hazard.
Mourinho, who left Real in 2013 to return to Chelsea, does not expect it to happen.
“I don’t believe (it) because they didn’t tell me,” he said.
“If they want him, I think I would be the first one to know, because my relationship with the president (Florentino Perez) and with the CEO (Jose Angel Sanchez) doesn’t give space for something to happen behind me.
“I trust them completely. If they want him they get on the telephone and they call me to tell me they want him.”
Hazard has scored 18 goals this season ahead of Sunday’s trip to Arsenal, who are 10 points behind.
Victory at the Emirates Stadium would see the Blues move within three points of a first Premier League title in five years.
His work ethic and willingness to play for the team has impressed Mourinho as much as his individual skill.
“We are not the kind of group that is looking for somebody to be special, for somebody to be more than the others. This is not our culture,” Mourinho said.
“He knows that he’s a special player for us and that we need him in many occasions to be decisive for us but, he’s such a normal boy that he doesn’t belong to that glamour.
“He wants to be a special player and a normal person. He’s a fantastic boy, a golden boy.
“The way he behaves, the way he wants to be, the way he respects people, even the way he respects opponents.
“I don’t think you can have one opponent who can say ‘He insult me, he made fun of me, he played with his shoulder when he was winning 5-0, he did 20 bicycles (kick-ups) in front of me’.
“He doesn’t cheat. He doesn’t dive. Nothing. So I think, even for opponents, I think he’s a fantastic kid.”
Hazard announced his move from Lille to Chelsea by saying he would be joining the European champions after their 2012 Champions League success.
Three years later, the Belgian hopes to lift the Premier League title.
“I just feel him also with a great motivation to win the title,” Mourinho added.
“What gives you credit is the title. If we win the title he knows that he was fundamental in the team season.
“This is what he deserves. He deserves to be champion.”
Hazard’s consistently high level has delighted Mourinho.
“These are the kind of players that win matches for the team, but you must work them in a way where they don’t lose matches for the team,” Mourinho added.
“In my career I lost matches because of my best players. In this moment Eden is in a state of mind and a tactical approach where this season we won matches because of him and we didn’t lose matches because of him.
“This is the player I like because he’s a talented player that understands what the team needs.”
Mourinho’s focus is on the collective prize, not individual awards, and following the Arsenal game, attention will immediately turn to Wednesday’s match at Leicester, with preparations taking place at St George’s Park, the Football Association’s National Football Centre.
“For Sunday the only thing I want is to win at Arsenal,” Mourinho added.
“After the game I go home because Monday I go to St George’s.”
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