Hazard close to Messi and Ronaldo's level - Kepa

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The Chelsea goalkeeper is unlikely to be playing with the Belgium international next season as he closes in on a move to Real Madrid

Eden Hazard is among the top five players in the world and the very best in the Premier League, according to Kepa Arrizabalaga, who revealed the Belgium forward has yet to say goodbye to his Chelsea team-mates.

Hazard is expected to end a lengthy period of speculation over his future by joining Real Madrid, having admitted that the Europa League final victory over Arsenal would likely be his last game in a Chelsea shirt.

Kepa has only played alongside Hazard for a season, but made no secret of his admiration for a man who scored 16 goals to help Chelsea finish third in the Premier League in 2018-19.

"He can do everything," Kepa told Marca. "[He can] mark, assist, play as a false nine, play on the left, on the right, he is very fast, powerful, great in one-on-ones, plays well coming from deep.

"He is, for me, the best player in the Premier League."

Negotiations over Hazard's transfer to Madrid are thought ongoing, with the Blues holding out for a fee in excess of £100 million ($127m).

Hazard is worth every penny, according to Kepa, who ranks the former Lille man alongside Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo – two players he faced during his time at Athletic Club – in terms of talent.

Asked whether he is as good as the five-time Ballon d'Or winners, Kepa said: "I could not say, but he is close.

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"I put him among the five best in the world.

"He is a great player, and above all a great person. He is a guy that always boosts the dressing room.

"He's fun, quiet, and at 28 he's in a great personal and sporting situation, and it shows in the way he is playing."

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