Chelsea star Eden Hazard has declared he would be delighted if his Belgium team-mate Christian Benteke were to join him at Stamford Bridge. Eden Hazard says he would be the “happiest man in the world” if Belgium team-mate Christian Benteke signed for Chelsea.
Benteke, 25, has been touted for a move away from Aston Villa this summer after a superb run of form towards the end of the season under new boss Tim Sherwood. The Aston Villa striker’s future is the source of much discussion this summer, with the Blues, Liverpool and Manchester United all keen. He is understood to have a £32.5million buyout clause and has admitted he wants to play for a European outfit.
Benteke looks set to leave Villa after Tim Sherwood revealed the presence of a release clause in the Belgian’s contract. And Hazard says Benteke would be more than welcome at Stamford Bridge next term. Benteke has raised doubts over his future at Villa Park, though would only leave if he is guaranteed first-team football, and Hazard “would like nothing better” than linking up with his Belgium team-mate domestically.
With Didier Drogba departing, Chelsea are expected to move for a new striker, and Hazard hopes it is his countryman. Benteke has emerged as a leading target for the Reds as they look to refashion a forward line that backfired horribly during the recent campaign. PFA Player of the Year Hazard wants Chelsea to sign his fellow countryman and believes Benteke is good enough to play regularly for the Premier League champions.
“If Christian signs with us, I would be the happiest man in the world,” said Hazard. “I have a great relationship with him and would like nothing better than to play with him. Christian is 25. He is at an age where he has to make a good career choice.”
Since joining Villa in 2012, Benteke has scored a total of 49 goals in 101 appearances. He is currently away on international duty with Hazard, preparing for a crunch European Qualifier against Wales. Hazard has played in over 50 games for club and country this season and admits he cannot wait for a rest after fully experiencing the demands of domestic and European competition.
“Not that Aston Villa is a small club but he has already played many great games and can now play in the Champions League,” added Hazard.
Villa boss Tim Sherwood has told Benteke to reject advances from Liverpool to favour of staying at Villa Park ahead of Euro 2016, where he could earn a move to the likes of Real Madrid.