Pep Guardiola has described Eden Hazard as “one of the best players in the world” – but poured cold water on the prospects of the Belgian joining Manchester City.
In the build-up to Saturday’s Premier League clash at Stamford Bridge, Hazard, Chelsea’s star player, claimed he was a missing ingredient in Guardiola’s City team.
Guardiola has long coveted the mercurial winger – but quickly ruled out making a move for him, reports the Evening Standard.
“That is not going to happen,” said the Spaniard. “I am agreeing with him. He said I’m so good and I am agreeing with him. Switch on the TV and look at him. You realise his qualities. He is one of the best players in the world.”
In comments this week to Play Sports, a Belgian broadcaster, Hazard said: “City are all about team play. You can see a lot of movement from them. That creates spaces, they get their crosses in, and I think they have more answers that way.
“They also create more chances, and score more goals. But it’s true they don’t have an Eden Hazard. That is the difference!”
Hazard isn’t the only Chelsea player Guardiola could visualise in the paler blue of Manchester City, though. Jorginho was in talks to move to the Etihad for months, before eventually choosing to reunite with Maurizio Sarri in west London last summer, having previously worked under him at Napoli.
When asked about the Italian midfielder, Guardiola said: “For me it is uncomfortable to speak about a player with another club...We know it’s true. We spoke before the Community Shield and he decided to go there.
“I’m not going to say it is a bad decision. He knows the manager, he knows the club - Chelsea an exceptional club. So all the best.”
City will have to make do without Sergio Aguero and Kevin de Bruyne this weekend, with both players currently injured – although Guardiola expects the pair to recover in time to contribute over the busy festive period.