Antonio Conte has urged Chelsea to tie Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois to new deals at the club before the end of the season – or risk losing them to Real Madrid.
The star Blues pair have both been courted by the European champions in recent seasons and talk has heightened in recent weeks that the duo could emerge as key summer targets for the big-spending La Liga giants.
With Real likely to be keeping a close eye on the pair during next summer’s World Cup is Russia, Conte has urged the Blues to act fast to tie down their men.
“The club knows very well the importance of these two players, I think these two players are very happy to play for this club,” Conte said.
“It is normal during the season to have the contact between the player – or the agent of the player – and the club. I hope that at the end, Thibaut will sign his contract.
“If you ask me about these two players, I will be very happy when they can have this deal but this is the responsibility of the club to try to do this.
“I can give my opinion and for me these two players are two great players especially because they have a lot of space for improvement. ‘They are very young players and it will be great to keep them with us.”
Hazard has made a huge impact upon his return from injury this season and Rafa Benitez praised him for his man of the match display on Saturday as Chelsea recorded a 3-1 win over Newcastle.
“He was already very good but he’s more mature and better with his decision-making,’ said Benitez. ‘When you play a lot of games you learn and you know when you can make the difference and you are aware that you can make a difference.”
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