Jose Mourinho has told Eden Hazard he is not suited to playing as Chelsea’s number 10.
Hazard has expressed his desire to play in a central attacking role but his Portuguese coach has told the Real Madrid transfer target he sees him as a winger.
The Belgium international is eager to be the team’s key playmaker but Mourinho believes Hazard does not hold the suitable attributes to fit into his system.
“Me and Eden have different concepts of number 10,” Mourinho said.
“For me a number 10 does a lot of things with and without the ball. So a number 10 is a very special player in my team.
“In my first period, we played with two number eights. But in my last period, with Chelsea, we are playing with a system of two midfield players and one number 10. I demand a lot from someone in that position. Every position is important but it is an important position.
“I like a number 10 to score goals. I like a number 10 to get in the box. I like a number 10 to score a goal like Oscar did against Maccabi Tel Aviv. A number 10 for me is an eight-and-a-half when the team loses the ball and the number 10 is a nine-and-a-half when the team has the ball.”
Mourinho pointed towards two of his former players as examples of what he expected from the role, raising doubts over Hazard’s capabilities.
“Wesley Sneijder and Deco are my perfect number 10s,” he said.
“The complete number 10s. Mesut Ozil was very good at Real Madrid as well. Sneijder could defend, get in the box and finish with goals. Can Eden be that man as a number 10? I don’t think so.”
Spanish giants Madrid are reportedly preparing a £80million bid for Hazard this off-season, with last season’s PFA Players’ Player of the Year gradually regaining his form for the defending champions.