Former Chelsea boss Glenn Hoddle has warned the Blues that Eden Hazard can’t be replaced, amid reports linking the Belgian captain to Real Madrid at the end of the season.
Hoddle is hoping Hazard stays at Stamford Bridge and ignores a move a move to Real Madrid.
Hoddle told BT Sport: “If Messi hangs up his boots how do Barcelona replace him? Hazard is not in that category but how do Chelsea replace him, they can’t.
“I don’t see anyone out there who can do what Hazard does for Chelsea week in, week out. I can see him in a white shirt next season and really enjoying his football there.
“Next week against Liverpool, he’s going to have to almost play as a defender and you don’t get that in Spain. Personally, I hope he stays.
“He is enjoying his football at Chelsea because if he wasn’t playing in a team that passes the ball and move around he would have left already and I think that’s what’s pulling on his heartstrings a little bit.”
Hoddle also warned Hazard moving to Real Madrid this summer might not be a good time with the club in transition after a poor season.
Hoddle added: “He really has to think ‘do I want to go and play for Real Madrid, one of the best teams in the world?’
“He deserves to because he is a wonderful player. I think he will go, but is he joining them at the wrong time because Real Madrid have a lot of rebuilding to do.”
It has been suggested that securing Champions League football for 2019-20 could help to keep Hazard at Chelsea, and Hoddle believes Europa League success could be the Blues’ best route to playing Champions League football next season.
“I think this is the easiest route for Chelsea to get into the Champions League,” Hoddle added.
“They have got some tough games in the Premier League so if I’m this manager, I’m playing my strongest team in this competition. I think they could do it that way, I really do.”