Chelsea interim manager Guus Hiddink has predicted Eden Hazard will still be at the west London club next season. The 25-year-old Belgian has been heavily linked with a move away from the Premier League, with Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain reportedly interested in his services, but Hiddink has insisted he is happy at Chelsea.
Hazard ended a run of 29 Premier League games without a goal against Bournemouth on Saturday (23 April) and after shaking off recent injury problems, Hiddink has backed the midfielder to resist the temptation to move elsewhere.
"It's important that [Hazard] is here next year," the Chelsea interim boss explained, according to Sky Sports. "He has some more years to go on his contract. And what I do know is that he is very happy with everything at Chelsea, and everything around Chelsea. He is very important and if he is fit he will be very important again next season."
Hiddink revealed Hazard is fitter than he has been for some months, and it has led to an upturn in his form. "He's very light, very fresh now in training, he's been enjoying it and making jokes," the Dutchman said of Chelsea's star player.
"He's playing free with no doubt in his mind and no frustrations, so this is a good sign for me. Now he can go on for the whole season. He's not fully fit yet, so without taking any risks in the upcoming days he can regain that. And then of course the mental fitness will go accordingly."
Hiddink admitted it has been a terrible season for the one-time PFA Player of the Year. However, he also insisted Hazard could regain his title as the best player in England if he resists the lure of a move abroad.
"It's been a very bad season for him, we don't like to neglect the facts," Hiddink said. "It's difficult for a talented, high-quality player like Hazard. I think this season he had a difficult season, falling into injuries, coming back, nearly getting back then getting injured again.
"When you come back properly you'll be back well, and he showed that. When he is fully fit physically and mentally then he is one of the best. And I think he can regain the [PFA] award. He has the capacity to gain it back in coming years."