Throughout the January transfer window Eden Hazard was linked with Paris Saint Germain. While the transfer was seemingly unlikely, what with the Belgium attacker performing so wonderfully for Jose Mourinho at Chelsea, the financial firepower Nasser Al-Khelaifi - a Qatari sports businessman and president of PSG - has at his disposal made the Ligue 1 club's admiration for the player intriguing.
Even though the market is now closed for trading, the PSG interest in Hazard - a player with 62 chances created, five assists and a dozen goals from 2,100 Premier League minutes thus far this season - has continued, with accomplished centre back Thiago Silva commenting earlier in the week that he would 'welcome Hazard with open arms'.
While flattered that his work at Chelsea is being appreciated, Hazard's ambitions and objectives remain firmly Blue in colour… not Parisian blue, but West London blue, as the attacker, earmarked as a future Ballon d'Or contender by Mourinho, wants to emulate club greats such as Frank Lampard in order to secure his own legacy at SW6.
'It's nice to see interest from PSG in me, but it does not bother me,' said Hazard, to L'Equipe. 'I know very well what I have in mind, and no one will make me change my mind . My goal is to be the best in Chelsea. I'm young and I'm in constant contact with players like Lampard, [John] Terry, [Petr] Cech and [Samuel] Eto'o, who have won a lot.
'My best will be in the next season.'
Hazard's exemplary form this year was punctuated by a virtuoso performance against Manchester City, which preceded a hat-trick return against Newcastle United, on February 8.
Chelsea travel to the Hawthorns this evening, Tuesday, to take on West Bromwich Albion.
image: © Ben Sutherland