Mousa Dembele was surprised by Eden Hazard’s recent comments about Tottenham and will ask the Chelsea man about them on Monday night.
Hazard said recently that he and his Chelsea team-mates “don’t want Tottenham to win the Premier League” and “hope for Leicester”, but Dembele would be shocked if those are the actual thoughts of his fellow Belgian.
“I am surprised at what Eden has said,” Dembele said in The Sun.
“He is not the type of person to normally make those types of comments or to envy other people’s success.
“I’m wondering whether he said that stuff because it is what he really thinks, or whether he was just talking for the sake of it.
“Tottenham play some of the most attractive football in the Premier League — we have a beautiful style of play.
“But I won’t pay too much heed to his comments and those from Cesc Fabregas, who has said similar things.”
Dembele plans to speak to Hazard before Monday night’s crucial game at Stamford Bridge, which Spurs need to win to keep their title hopes alive.
Although Dembele is nonplussed about Hazard’s comments, he admits they served as extra motivation ahead of the game.
He added: “People come up to me in the street and say ‘Did you hear what Hazard said? What’s his problem?’
“I will have a word with Eden before the game, although I will make a joke of it. I won’t conduct a half-hour interview with him.
“I am convinced he didn’t think about what he said.
“It won’t have a bearing on our relationship in the Belgium national side, though.
“But he has motivated us well for Monday. We want to show Chelsea why we are ahead of them in the table.
“We don’t need motivating in any case for a game against Chelsea.
“We want to finish above them. But I don’t take a malicious pleasure from it — both Eden and myself want to write our own stories rather than focusing on others.”
While Dembele is not sure Hazard even truly meant what he said, the Spurs midfielder acknowledges most neutrals are rooting for Leicester.
“The nearer we get to the end of the season the more we can feel that the atmosphere is changing,” Dembele said.
“Last Monday I could feel that West Brom preferred us not to win the title as well. It is bizarre.
“Leicester don’t stop winning, and it is frustrating. Had we been offered second, third or even fourth place before the start of the season we’d have signed up for it with both hands.
“But given the way the biggest clubs have failed to rise to the occasion, this has been our chance to win the title.”