Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has expressed his desire to have star duo Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois commit their respective futures to the club with new contracts before the World Cup kicks off in Russia in mid-June.

Both Hazard and Courtois have been linked with Real Madrid on and off over the past year or longer, and Conte is keen for both players to be tied down before they flaunt their wares on the planet's single biggest football stage at the World Cup come summer.

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"The World Cup is the best tournament in the world. You can show your abilities and skills and show you are a top player. This is a great chance every great player has to show his ability," the manager is quoted as saying by the Daily Mail.

"The club knows very well the importance of these two players. I think these two players are very happy to play for this club," he explained.

"I can give my opinion and for me these two players are two great players especially because they have a lot of space for improvement. They are very young players and it will be great to keep them with us."


Courtois will enter the final year of his contract on 1st July 2018 and has been heavily linked with a move to Madrid once more in the space of the last week after Los Blancos have seemingly finally given up on signing David de Gea from Manchester United.

"It is normal during the season to have the contact between the player - or the agent of the player - and the club. I hope that at the end, Thibaut will sign his contract," Conte said.

Hazard remains under contract at Chelsea until the summer of 2020.

"I don't think Eden is at the peak of his career. 'He has a lot of room for improvement. He is a young player and it's important for him to work, work, work in every training session to improve himself and then to have this kind of performance," the boss said of the #10.

"You are at the top when you win the Ballon d'Or the first time, when you win the Champions League, when you win the World Cup. At that moment you are at the top of the world so you are a great player."