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Conte dismisses Hazard rumors

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Even before the 2016/17 season was over, Chelsea fans had been bombarded with reports about a potential Eden Hazard move to Real Madrid. While the player himself never fueled these speculations, the potential departure of Chelsea's biggest star was undoubtedly a cause for concern for all Blues. The Belgian winger has been an integral part of Chelsea ever since he joined in 2012 and helped the Blues to two Premier League titles. As Antonio Conte looks to further bolster his squad ahead of this seasons title defense, it is clear that Hazard is a vital part of the Italian's plans.

Ahead of our final pre-season game against Inter Milan in Singapore, another Hazard-related rumor has surfaced. This time, Barcelona being the culprit as Ernesto Valverde is rumored to be eyeing Hazard as a replacement for Neymar in the case that the Brazilian does actually leave. Addressing reporters at a news conference, the Italian was quick to dismiss these stories as just baseless speculation: "I don't know anything about this situation. In the past, I've read a lot about Hazard to Real Madrid and now Barca!. I think he is very happy to stay with us and play for Chelsea."

Not being privy to the the Belgians actual thoughts and feelings, Chelsea fans can at least take comfort in the fact that he's set to be a Chelsea player for one more season and hope a contract extension is negotiated in the near future.

For more Chelsea-related news and the latest transfer rumors follow me at @AmarJasika.

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