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05 August 2017

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has begged fans not to blame him if Eden Hazard is sold to Barcelona this summer

EDEN HAZARD could leave the Blues this summer following continued interest from the Catalans, but the Chelsea boss does not want to be blamed.

Barcelona want to blow the world-record £198million they got for Neymar on Hazard and Liverpool ace Philippe Coutinho.

Antonio Conte is keen to keep the Belgian forward at Chelsea next season
Antonio Conte is keen to keep the Belgian forward at Chelsea next season
Getty – Contributor
Eden Hazard has been linked with a move to La Liga giants Barcelona
Eden Hazard has been linked with a move to La Liga giants Barcelona
Getty – Contributor

Blues boss Conte admitted: “You know well that I have great consideration for Hazard because he is a really top player. But I repeat I’m the coach and can give my opinion – but the final decision is always the club’s.”

Conte has already laid the blame at the door of the club’s hierarchy for selling Nemanja Matic to Manchester United.

But Conte last night admitted for the first time that he is powerless to stop Belgian superstar Hazard, 26, leaving next.

SunSport exclusively revealed Barca’s interest on Thursday.

But Conte said: “I expect Eden to play with Chelsea. Don’t forget that we are trying to improve our squad.”

Hazard won the PFA Player of the Year award in 2015 following his stellar season for the Blues.

Liverpool ace Philippe Coutinho has also emerged as top target for Ernesto Valverde's side
Liverpool ace Philippe Coutinho has also emerged as top target for Ernesto Valverde’s side
Rex Features
Hazard celebrates following Chelsea's Premier League win last term
Hazard celebrates following Chelsea’s Premier League win last term
Getty – Contributor

With the market spiralling out of control, Conte maintains  that Chelsea will not be breaking the £100m barrier on any marquee player this summer.

He added: “Now is not the right moment for us to spend such a lot of money for one player because we need a lot of players.”

Barca boss Ernesto Valverde is looking to bring Hazard to La Liga following Neymar's world-record move
Barca boss Ernesto Valverde is looking to bring Hazard to La Liga following Neymar’s world-record move
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Eden Hazard takes on Felipe Massa in a Drills v Wheels challenge at Chelsea’s training ground
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