Pep Guardiola has described Eden Hazard as “one of the best players in the world”, but says that Manchester City are not in the running to sign the Chelsea forward.
Speaking in the build-up to Saturday’s match between the two sides, Hazard teased that he may be the one thing missing from the Citizens’ squad.
Despite admitting to being a big fan of the Belgium international, however, Guardiola does not intend to snap him up from one of City’s Premier League title rivals next year.
“That is not going to happen,” he told reporters. “I am agreeing with him. He said ‘I’m so good’ and I am agreeing with him. Switch on the TV and look at him. You realise his qualities. He is one of the best players in the world.”
Hazard, who is also a long-term target for Real Madrid, set up both goals in Chelsea’s 2-0 win over Man City at Stamford Bridge.
Meanwhile, Chelsea inflicted champions Manchester City’s first Premier League defeat of the season with a 2-0 win at Stamford Bridge that allowed Liverpool to go top of the table on Saturday.
N’Golo Kante and David Luiz were on target for Maurizio Sarri’s men as City paid for failing to take advantage of their first-half dominance.
“I am very happy with the win because it is not very easy to win against Manchester City or Pep Guardiola,” said Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri.
Liverpool now lead City by a point after Mohamed Salah’s hat-trick secured an impressive 4-0 win at Bournemouth.
City had looked imperious in recent weeks, winning their previous seven Premier League games, and started in the same vein.