The Belgium international has been heavily linked with Real Madrid in the past, but the latest reports suggest that their La Liga rivals are also keen

Antonio Conte has rubbished any suggestion that Eden Hazard could leave Chelsea amid talk of interest from Barcelona.

The Liga giants are reported to be in the market for added creativity this summer, with Andres Iniesta now 33 years of age and speculation claiming that Neymar could make a big-money move to Paris Saint-Germain.

dabblebet: Chelsea 10/3 for PL title

Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho has been heavily linked with a switch to Camp Nou, but Hazard is another Premier League talent who Barca are said to have their eye on.

Chelsea, though, have no intention of parting with the Belgium international, with reported interest from Real Madrid having already been played down in the recent past.

Conte said of his star forward: “He is very happy to stay with us and to play for Chelsea. I don’ t know anything about this situation.

Eden Hazard Antonio Conte Chelsea Barcelona

“In the past I read a lot of stories about Hazard with Real Madrid – and now Barcelona. This is the transfer market and we must understand this.”

Hazard, who still has three years remaining on his Chelsea contract, is currently working his way back from an ankle injury and has not figured in Conte’s pre-season plans.

The Italian added on the 26-year-old: “It is difficult to say when he will be back.

Conte expecting Utd & City challenge

“After a bad injury, after ankle surgery, it is not easy to programme the date to come back.”

Chelsea are also waiting to unleash £40 million summer signing Tiemoue Bakayoko, with the midfielder having arrived from Monaco nursing a knee problem.

He underwent surgery at the end of a 2016-17 campaign in which he helped to secure the Ligue 1 title.

EMBED ONLY Tiemoue Bakayoko Chelsea GFX

Conte is eager to get Bakayoko and Hazard into his side as soon as possible, but insists that neither will be rushed into competitive action.

He added: “We hope for them to recover very well.

‘Conte has asked about Sanches’

“You know the importance of these players but we will not rush them back.

“Every player must be in the best form to play, otherwise they are put in a bad position which could be damaging for the team.”

Chelsea will wrap up their pre-season schedule with a clash against Inter on Saturday, before turning their attention to a Community Shield meeting with Arsenal and the start of their Premier League title defence on August 12.


Never miss a game with live sport on the widest screens in the sky. Fly Emirates to over 150 destinations from Dubai. Book now.