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Chelsea need Champions League to stop Hazard from leaving for Real Madrid, says Hasselbaink

17:03 GMT+3 24/02/2019
Eden Hazard Chelsea 2018-19
The Belgian star continues to flirt with a summer move to the Champions League holders and the Dutch legend knows what they need to do to keep him

Chelsea must secure their place in next season's Champions League if they are to persuade Eden Hazard to reject a move to Real Madrid, former striker Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink says.

The Belgian attacker is rumoured to be one of Madrid's top transfer targets, having been heavily linked with a move to the Santiago Bernabeu last summer. Hazard, 28, hinted that the Spanish capital was his favoured destination last year after the World Cup and Goal understands he is still hopeful of a big-money move this year

Hazard said this month that he has reached a decision on his future, but the two-window transfer ban FIFA hit Chelsea with this week could complicate the situation. 

The sanction for breaking rules relating to the registration of youth players puts the Stamford Bridge outfit in further turmoil amid the team's recent dip in form. 

Although they are competing in Sunday's Carabao Cup final and progressed to the last 16 of the Europa League this week, recent heavy defeats to Manchester City and Bournemouth have put coach Maurizio Sarri's job in jeopardy and saw them slip out of the Premier League's top four.

Ex-Blues star Hasselbaink urged the club to sign Hazard to a long-term deal in the wake of their transfer ban, but he feels they will need to qualify for Europe's top club competition if they are to convince him.

"It'll be difficult for Hazard if Chelsea aren't in the Champions League next season. That's why the game with Tottenham is every bit as vital as the Carabao Cup final, maybe even more," he told The Mirror.

"But sooner or later I think the club will have to shuffle things around anyway to provide a pathway for young players like Callum Hudson-Odoi.

"They have some great young players coming through but if they can't get into the first team they will go to clubs like Manchester UnitedLiverpool and Spurs who give them a chance."

Hazard has scored 15 times in 34 appearances in all competitions for Chelsea this season and is contracted to the club until 2020.