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Saturday 16 December 2017

Rooney would be a brilliant signing for us - Hazard

Eden Hazard, left, wants Wayne Rooney, right, to join him at Chelsea
Eden Hazard, left, wants Wayne Rooney, right, to join him at Chelsea

Jeremy Wilson

Eden Hazard has added emphatic dressing-room support to Chelsea's potential signing of Wayne Rooney but also stressed that his Belgium team-mates Christian Benteke and Romelu Lukaku are now ready to deliver on the biggest stage.

A new striker has been among the priorities for Jose Mourinho this summer and, with Edinson Cavani likely to follow Radamel Falcao into the French league, Benteke and Rooney are both under serious consideration.

Mourinho offered public praise for Rooney on Chelsea's arrival in Bangkok on Friday and, after training in the Thai capital last night, Hazard delivered his enthusiastic endorsement.

"We've heard all the names – it's exciting," he said. "Rooney would be a brilliant signing. He's a great player who has the experience, and he's still only young, at 27.

"It's always a pleasure to play with great players, and Chelsea sign great players."

Lukaku is also back from an encouraging loan spell at West Brom and – with Fernando Torres on holiday following the Confederations Cup – will be given an opportunity during the club's pre-season tour of Asia.

At only 20, Lukaku believes that he is now ready to challenge for a place in the Chelsea team.

"We have a manager that expects a lot of the players in training," Lukaku said. "It pushes me towards another level. We had a good talk and now it's up to me."

Although Tottenham are poised to lodge a bid, Benteke is another striker on Mourinho's radar. Benteke scored 19 Premier League goals during an impressive first season at Aston Villa but handed in a transfer request last week.

"He had an unbelievable first season for a young striker," Hazard said. "His dream is to play even higher. He has the quality to impose himself wherever."

Asked if Mourinho could make the difference in Chelsea reclaiming the Premier League, Hazard said: "With a good manager in place, our chances are even greater." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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