Chelsea latest: Hazard set for rest as Blues rival Liverpool for 'the next Messi'

Eden Hazard Dribbling

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Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho was reportedly concerned over potential fatigue for star man Eden Hazard, and with Belgium taking on Ivory Coast on Wednesday, Marc Wilmots will give the former Lille man a rest as Chelsea's title bid hots up - but Wilmots insists that his decision wasn't dependent on Mourinho's wishes.

"Whether Mourinho had asked or not, I wasn't planning to play Hazard for 90 minutes," the Belgium said. "I was already planning to rest Hazard for a longer time. He has played so many games that he can use some rest."

That Belgium squad also contains Chelsea loanee Romelu Lukaku, and ex-Blues hero Didier Drogba has had his say on the youngster - claiming that people need to stop comparing the two strikers because Lukaku is better than Drogba was at the same age.

“I know I am his idol and we get on well. It is flattering to see that he identifies with me. But we have to stop comparing us. He is big too, certainly, but he is already tougher and he has qualities I don’t. Of course, I have some that he will only acquire with time," said Drogba.

“He will do big things and it has already started. His progression is better than mine. At the age of 19, he was at Chelsea. I was at Le Mans," he added.

Meanwhile, Mourinho will no doubt have plenty of money to spend in the summer, and Porto's Juan Manuel Iturbe is reportedly a target.

Tipped to be 'the next Lionel Messi', Iturbe is currently on loan at Serie A side Verona, and his impressive displays had attracted the interest of Liverpool, but it's now believed that Chelsea have jumped to the front of the queue. With an abundance of playmakers and wingers already at Mourinho's disposal, many will question the need to bring in another, but Iturbe has exceptional talent.

image: © Ben Sutherland

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