Hazard must be more demanding if he wants to leave Chelsea, says Ballack
Eden Hazard should make it clear to Chelsea if he wants to leave the club, according to former star Michael Ballack.
Hazard has made no secret of his interest in playing for Real Madrid and, with his contract having only 18 months to run, Chelsea could be forced into a sale this year if they are unable to extend his deal.
However, speaking to France Football this week, the Belgium star claimed there are conditions that could see him commit his future to Stamford Bridge, even though he admitted he would still consider any Madrid approach.
Ballack, who won two FA Cups, the Premier League and the EFL Cup in a four-year spell with Chelsea, believes Hazard would be in a strong bargaining position if he tells the club of his true ambitions and has urged him to make up his mind.
"Eden Hazard has to decide if he wants to stay or not," he told Omnisport. "He's not only an outstanding player at Chelsea but also in the Premier League. Now, he has to decide if he wants to play at an ultimate, top club. That's what he's already communicated from time to time.
"In my opinion, he is a little bit too calm, especially at Chelsea. There, he should be more demanding and expressing of his wishes. He can do that because he is in an outstanding position. If he wants to win more titles with Chelsea, something has to happen, otherwise Eden Hazard will think about looking for another opportunity."
Joe Cole sealed our place in the 2008 League Cup final with this goal exactly 11 years ago today! pic.twitter.com/vizlgV4hBv— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) January 23, 2019
Chelsea host Tottenham on Thursday in the EFL Cup semi-final, looking to overturn a 1-0 deficit from the first leg.
The game comes after a 2-0 loss to Arsenal left them 13 points behind Premier League leaders Liverpool and only three above the Gunners and Manchester United in fifth and sixth respectively.
Ballack admires head coach Maurizio Sarri's attempts to implement a more attacking style of play, but he is concerned the squad lacks the quality to match Liverpool and champions Manchester City.
"Maurizio Sarri is also from Italy, like former coach Antonio Conte. As we know, Italians focus on discipline and an organised style of play but at the beginning I had the feeling that they want to play a little bit more offensive and creative," he said.
"He is a very relaxed guy who started well, although Chelsea lost some important and easy games now. In the Premier League, that's dangerous because you lose sight of teams like Liverpool and Manchester City who have a big and well-balanced squad. Then you suddenly suffer a 10-point deficit, which is difficult to cut.
"I don't see any players in the team who really want to attack the top of the table. For the manager, it's difficult to add quality to the squad. As I said, the squad is good but not good enough for the top."