Chelsea's Giroud keen on 'special' Hazard stay

Eden Hazard appears set to remain at Chelsea beyond the transfer deadline and striker Olivier Giroud would welcome that.

Chelsea's Olivier Giroud and Eden Hazard   -  Getty Images

Olivier Giroud is eager to see Eden Hazard stay at Chelsea, having called the Belgium playmaker "a very special player".

Blues fans feared Hazard may depart Stamford Bridge in this transfer window, particularly when he hinted at an interest in moving to Real Madrid after the World Cup.

However, speculation over that transfer has cooled in recent weeks and it appears the 27-year-old will begin his seventh season with Chelsea when its Premier League campaign starts at Huddersfield Town this weekend.

Giroud would see that outcome as a major victory for the club given his view on Hazard, whose Belgium team was beaten by eventual World Cup winner France at the semi-final stage.

READ: Giroud keen for Chelsea to move for Fekir

"We want to keep him at Chelsea, it's a great feeling to play with this kind of player," the French striker told reporters.

"Eden and I texted each other after the World Cup. He congratulated me and N'Golo Kante. I didn't want to tease him about the semi-final. He had a very good World Cup and obviously he is a very special player."

Though Hazard's mooted move to Madrid may not materialise, club and international colleague Thibaut Courtois does appear bound for the Spanish capital.

Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga's €80million (£72m) release clause has been activated, which paves the way for his expected switch to Chelsea and should allow Courtois to complete an anticipated transfer to Madrid.

"If he leaves it's going to be sad for us because he is a great keeper," Giroud added of Courtois.

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