Mourinho: Hazard loves Chelsea

The 23-year-old, who is in his third season at Chelsea after joining from Lille in June 2012, is in advanced discussions over a contract extension which Mourinho expects to be a formality.

And the Blues boss does not expect Hazard to leave despite warning after the loss at Tottenham that the physical nature of English football means “maybe one day we won’t have Eden Hazard”.

“I think he loves it here. I think so,” Mourinho said. “I think, I hope (he will stay).”

Mourinho last season often bemoaned the frequency of fouls on Hazard and has again repeated his complaint, calling on officials to protect his prized asset by punishing persistent offenders.

“The first free-kick of every game is somebody kicking him,” Mourinho said. “He has fouls and fouls and fouls. I don’t see many yellow cards.

“Sometimes a yellow card is a consequence of violent conduct, but I also think that accumulation of small fouls is also violent conduct.

“The kid is suffering the consequences of that, but playing amazingly well.

“(Against Tottenham) he was amazing. Even in the second half, with a difficult result to face, and to have the determination to keep believing till the end. He was fantastic.”

Hazard may be afforded a rare rest for Sunday’s FA Cup third-round clash with Watford while Didier Drogba is likely to start in place of Diego Costa up front.

Chelsea have won four of the last eight FA Cups and Mourinho is eager to prevail in the competition for a second time, after his 2007 success.

He added: “Every game and every competition, we try. So the next game is FA Cup, let’s respect the competition, which is a beautiful one, and try to go all the way.”

He will not be underestimating Watford, but believes the fact Chelsea will be playing so soon after New Year’s Day, when Championship clubs were not in action, could be to the visitors’ advantage.

“The Championship clubs will be in a better condition than the Premier League clubs,” Mourinho said.

“At the same time, normally the Premier League clubs have more potential, more quality. Maybe it’s a way to make things level.

“One team has more quality but another team is fresh and ready for the game. So maybe matches between Premier League teams and Championship teams, this is a good way to level things.???

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