Eden Hazard has warned his Chelsea FC team-mates that they must finish in the top four this season.
The Blues currently find themselves in a tight battle with Manchester United and Arsenal for Champions League qualification this season as the race for a top-four finish hots up.

Chelsea FC ended up in fifth place in the Premier League table last season and won the FA Cup in Antonio Conte’s first campaign in charge.

It has been something of a mixed first season for Chelsea FC under Maurizio Sarri following his appointment at Stamford Bridge last summer.

Chelsea FC could still secure Champions League qualification by winning the Europa League this season.

And Hazard – who has been heavily linked with a summer move away from Stamford Bridge of late – has now talked up the importance of Chelsea FC claiming a spot in the Champions League for next season.

Speaking in an interview with Chelsea FC’s website, Hazard said: “We have to qualify – that’s it, that simple.

“We want to play in the Champions League next season so the only solution is to be in the top four or win the Europa League.

“It’s not just about me, the club has to be in the Champions League. We miss the Champions League this season, so for the fans, for the board, for the players, the staff, this club has to be in the Champions League every year.

“But in the Premier League you never know how many teams can be in the top-four race, six or seven, so it is a hard challenge, but we can do it.

“Every year is different, every year is hard, but I think the Premier League is getting harder every year. But at the end the target is always the same, to win something and then play Champions League next season.

“We are Chelsea. Every year we need to start thinking at the beginning of the season that we can have trophies. In the last 10 years we’ve won a lot of trophies, so we need to think we can keep doing it.

“It’s just about mentality, if we want to win something we can do it.”

Chelsea FC will return to Europa League action on Thursday night when they host Slavia Prague in the return leg of their quarter-final tie, having won the first leg 1-0 last week.