Tottenham midfielder Mousa Dembélé admits he was surprised by Eden Hazard's remarks ahead of their season-defining clash with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Monday.
The outgoing champions can help Leicester City finish first by beating second-placed Spurs, and Dembélé admits he was shocked when Hazard said that he would prefer to see the Foxes lift the trophy, despite the Blues facing them on the final day of the season.
"I am surprised at what Eden has said," Dembele is quoted as saying by The Sun. "He is not the type of person to normally make those types of comments or to envy other people's success.
"Tottenham play some of the most attractive football in the Premier League – we have a beautiful style of play. But I won't pay too much heed to his comments and those from Cesc Fabregas, who has said similar things.
"He has motivated us well for Monday. We want to show Chelsea why we are ahead of them in the table. I will have a word with Eden before the game, although I will make a joke of it. It won't have a bearing on our relationship in the Belgium national side."
While Hazard has been a perfect personification of Chelsea's malaise this season after enjoying a fantastic campaign en route to their 2014/15 title triumph, Dembélé admits that even a second-place finish makes this a successful season for the Lilywhites.
"The nearer we get to the end of the season the more we can feel that the atmosphere is changing," he added. "Had we been offered second, third or even fourth place before the start of the season we'd have signed up for it with both hands.
"Leicester don't stop winning, and it is frustrating. But given the way the biggest clubs have failed to rise to the occasion, this has been our chance to win the title."