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Chelsea in extension talks with Hazard, Courtois - report

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Laurence Griffiths

With just two years left on Thibaut Courtois' contract, getting the Belgian goalkeeper extended has been a major priority for Chelsea this year. And boy, have we heard about it -- Courtois' future has dominated the transfer talk around the club for months. But there's an even more important Belgian at Stamford Bridge, and he only has three years on his deal.

So while we knew that the club was working on a Courtois extension (which should go smoothly now that he's supplanted Petr Cech as the first-choice goalkeeper), it's very gratifying to hear that they're working on a similar deal with Eden Hazard. So says the Telegraph, at any rate:

Other than trying to convince Courtois to sign a new contract, Chelsea are also in talks with Eden Hazard over extending his deal that runs until 2017.

Hazard, unlike Courtois, is one of the highest-paid players at the club, and extending him would presumably take him up to truly stratospheric wages. But paradoxically, such a deal might actually save Chelsea money, at least for FFP purposes:  spreading the remaining amount of money left on his £32 million transfer fee (about £19 million over three years; £6.4 million per year) over a five-year deal would take a significant amount of cash off his year-to-year hit, reducing it to £3.8 million per season before wages.

That's a nice little cushion from which Chelsea might hand out a raise -- about £50k a week, to be precise. So giving Hazard more money sounds like a pretty good plan to me. Do it, Chelsea. Oh, and get Thibaut a raise, too.

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