Chelsea's Eden Hazard could return from injury vs. Arsenal - Guus Hiddink
LONDON -- Guus Hiddink confirmed that Eden Hazard will not shake off his groin injury in time to face Everton on Saturday but is hopeful that the Belgian will be available when Chelsea take on Arsenal at Emirates Stadium next weekend.
Hazard, 25, has missed Chelsea's last two matches since limping off just 16 minutes into the Blues' 3-0 victory over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park earlier this month, and the reigning PFA Player of the Year is still waiting to score his first goal of a torrid season at club level.
Prior to Wednesday's 2-2 draw with West Brom, Hiddink said Chelsea would have to be careful not to rush Hazard -- who is not yet training fully with the rest of the squad -- back from injury, and the Dutchman reiterated that message in a news conference to preview Saturday's clash with Everton.
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"There were no injuries in [the West Brom] game," Hiddink said. "The only one not available yet is Eden Hazard, although he is on the pitch working and I hope in the upcoming week he can enjoy full training sessions and then we can decide whether he can join us for the Arsenal game.
"We have to be a little bit careful that we don't have another setback. He must have some tough, intense training sessions from Tuesday to Thursday."
Thursday's decision by FIFA to ban Real Madrid and city rivals Atletico from registering new players in the next two transfer windows has prompted speculation that Florentino Perez may be forced to bring his summer transfer plans forward to January, with Hazard and Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea rumoured to be his top targets.
But Hiddink is confident that Hazard -- who has been reported to be unsettled at Stamford Bridge in recent months but signed a new contract committing him to Chelsea until the summer of 2020 back in February -- will not be going anywhere in the next two weeks.
"All big clubs are looking to big players," Hiddink added. "But both protested [the judgement] and I don't know whether they can't use this transfer window or the summer, or whether it will be postponed to the summer and the next winter window, but I don't expect much of this in this transfer window."
Monaco vice-president Vadim Vasilyev told French radio station RMC on Friday that his club decided not to recall injured striker Radamel Falcao from his loan spell at Chelsea after assessing the Colombian's condition earlier this month.
Hiddink confirmed that he would not have stood in the way of Falcao returning to Stade Louis II in January after an injury-ravaged six months that have seen the 29-year-old make just 11 appearances in all competitions for Chelsea, scoring one goal.
"For him it's important to start playing because if you see his recent path here and also in [Manchester United] of not playing, that's difficult for a player," Hiddink said. "He must look for circumstances where he can play and I can understand that. The reason they didn't take him back was injury [related]."