Chelsea star Eden Hazard has offered new hope to fans that he will sign a new contract with the Blues, but still claims team-mate Thibaut Courtois will be the first to get an extension.
Hazard has been consistently linked to Real Madrid, with reports on Thursday even suggesting that he had agreed a move to Spain.
But the winger, who took in the NBA clash between the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers in London on Thursday along with a host of other big names, has once again hinted at a new deal with Blues, pouring cold water on some of the rumours about his future.
“Yes,” Hazard told Mirror Football when asked if he would ink a new contract with the London outfit. “I think Thibaut first. Then I will sign.”
Hazard and Chelsea are currently third in the Premier League, just a point back of second-placed Manchester United but 16 behind runaway leaders Manchester City.
The Belgian has played a large part in his club's success so far this season, scoring six goals and adding two assists in the league to help the club hold firm in the top four.
Hazard has two years left on his contract, while his Belgian team-mate Courtois has just one year left on his current deal, and both players have been widely linked with moves to Spain, with the goalkeeper even hinting at a move to Madrid back in December.
"It is not always easy, but I'd also seen this coming," Courtois said of his a personal situation while speaking on Belgian television show Stadion on VTM. "I knew that [my former girlfriend] would return to Madrid, so that has its influence too. I love my children to death.
"When you miss them, you are sometimes wondering: 'Shouldn't I play in Spain in the next few years?' That's why I want to take my time to make a decision on that contract extension."
While Hazard's comments seem like firm confirmation, he and Courtois have both put the onus on the other to sign first in the past.
“Do Eden and I encourage each other to sign? Yes. He will say: ‘If you sign, I will sign,’ and I say the same to him!" the goalkeeper told the Evening Standard earlier this month.
“I think we are both happy at Chelsea, we both have a good part to play. We have been champions twice in the four seasons I have been here and can have our peak years together at Chelsea.”
Hazard responded to those comments as well, saying: "I don’t know who’ll be the first to sign a new deal. That’s a secret.”
Goal revealed back in December that the Blues are ready to make their goalkeeper the highest-paid player at his position in the world, while the club have also prepared a deal for their star attacker.
Losing either would represent a major blow to the club’s future plans.