'Forget Real Madrid! Chelsea can give Hazard the success he deserves' - Conte

The Blues boss says that his star forward is part of his future plans and that they are building a team that can compete with the world's best

Antonio Conte has issued a warning that Chelsea will return to compete with Real Madrid in Europe, as Zinedine Zidane's side look to turn the head of Eden Hazard. 

Hazard has been rumoured to have opened talks with Madrid over a summer move, but Conte thinks that the rumours are designed to "put difficulty in the mind of his players."

Conte downplays Chelsea's Premier League lead

The former Italy boss believes that Chelsea are big enough to resist offers, even from the European champions, for their star talent and revealed that his ambitions for the club are as high as they possibly could be. 

“If the player is happy and the player knows he will stay in a great team with great ambition, I don't see any problem," he told reporters. "Even if this club calls itself Real Madrid. We are in a great club.

"We started to build something good for the future, and the ambitions of this club are the same as mine and my players. We stay in the right place if you want to be competitive in the game, be competitive in the future.

Eden Hazard and Antonio Conte

"I hope to play in the Champions League next season. I'm sure about this, that you'd be staying in the right place, in a great club with great ambition. I can tell this with 100 per cent.

"I think, in this situation [Hazard's], it's always very important to understand if this is speculation or if there is some truth in it. In this situation I think it's very important that we love the player." 

Conte was dismissive that Hazard might be angling for more money as the rumours circulate around his star man and he thinks his players can see that Chelsea is the right place to be. 

“No, I don't think so [that Hazard is after a new deal]," he added. "I think it's very important to stay, to feel that you stay in the right place with ambition. This type of player, when you arrive at being a top player, you want to fight to win and be competitive in every trophy you have to play for.

"I think, I repeat, we are building something important together. We have just started our building. Now we are putting the foundations in.

"If we are able to win the league this season, I repeat, I think we'll be on an incredible path, an incredible thing because we are in a moment that the club is in transition.

Eden Hazard, Chelsea

"A lot of old players have finished their careers with Chelsea. To win this season is great. I think we are putting great foundations down to build something important for the future. I think the players feel this.”

Hazard has 11 goals and four assists for Chelsea this season and he is one of the front runners, along with team-mate N'Golo Kante, to win the PFA Player of the Season Award. Conte thinks that Hazard can still continue to improve, despite his good form, at Chelsea under his stewardship. 

"Yes, he can improve," he continued. "He's a young player with a lot of improvement in his path as a footballer. But this must be for him and all the players. Before you finish your career, you can always improve. Always.”