Chelsea warned they may have to sack Antonio Conte to avoid losing star player

Former Chelsea striker Tony Cascarino has fired a hugely worrying warning to his old club regarding the future of manager Antonio Conte and how it could affect Eden Hazard.

The ex-Blue believes Conte’s defensive style risks forcing flair players like Hazard out of the club, and that he cannot see a reason why the Belgian would want to stay at Stamford Bridge if he’s continually asked to play as he did in Sunday’s defeat to Manchester City.

Hazard was deployed as a false 9, but essentially ended up having to play the role of target man as Chelsea barely had any possession and resorted to long balls.

This is far from ideal with a small forward like Hazard up front, whose best form in his career has always been out wide or occasionally behind a more traditional centre-forward.

Cascarino is concerned that the 27-year-old will realise his best chance of becoming the best player in the world is if he plays for a more attack-minded side and has the chance to get on the ball, and worries Conte’s presence at Chelsea with these tactics will see him look to leave.

eden hazard chelsea
Eden Hazard could leave Chelsea if Antonio Conte stays, says Tony Cascarino

The biggest damage that Antonio Conte is doing to Chelsea by asking his team to play conservatively is that the flair players will want out,’ Cascarino wrote in the Times.

‘If Eden Hazard has the ambition to be the best player in the world — which he does — then there is no way he will stay if you’re asking him to play like a League One forward; that’s the consequence of playing in that defensive style.

‘Yes, the ugly side of the game is needed, and Manchester City’s midfielders are asked to work hard, but their overall emphasis is on attacking football, whereas Hazard will come off the pitch thinking: “What chance have I got to show what I can do?”

‘Hazard’s idol is Zinedine Zidane. If Conte remains Chelsea manager, why would Hazard stay if Real Madrid come calling?’

The Daily Mail have reported Hazard could push for a transfer to Real Madrid this summer.

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