Real Madrid fans may be sensing a growing feeling of anxiety as the clock ticks towards as first-team players returning to training and a new season is fast approaching.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s exit to Juventus has heightened Madrid’s needs for an attacking upgrade while primary targets Neymar and Kylian Mbappe appear to be unattainable. Reports now suggest Chelsea star Eden Hazard may be their new objective and they should go all out to land the Belgian.
The reports come amid similar talk of Hazard’s club and international teammate Thibaut Courtois potentially moving to the Bernabeu this summer. The two are close friends and logically should both join the European champions simultaneously, their settling in period should be easier.
There is logic too for both Hazard and Chelsea agreeing to a deal. The playmaker is now a 27-year-old and this represents perhaps his final notable opportunity to secure a move away from the West London club. They may have landed the FA Cup last time out but the Blues will not be participating in next season’s Champions League and are not among the predicted frontrunners for this season’s Premier League. Hazard initially joined Chelsea in 2012 and has offered six years of excellent service, establishing himself as one of world football’s brightest attacking talents.
For Chelsea, this could be a chance to secure a mammoth deal which would allow significant reinvestment in other areas of their squad. A report in Belgian outlet HLN stated the Blues are valuing Hazard at a staggering €225m – which would represent a world record transfer deal – but the reality is that a move for half that amount, or more, would offer them a chance to make strides of intent in terms of incomings.
After helping Belgium secure a third-placed finish in the World Cup, Hazard told reporters: “It might be time to discover something different” after six “wonderful years” at Stamford Bridge, where he has two years remaining on his contract.
“You know my preferred destination, I can decide if I want to stay or go but Chelsea will make the final decision – if they want to let me go.”
The previous week he had, unprompted, declared the ‘shirt of Real Madrid’ as ‘very special’ and that Zinedine Zidane’s departure – whom he regularly spoke of his admiration for – would not impact on any future decision he may have.
Hazard’s outstanding level of performance at the World Cup indicated he may have been playing, in part, to catch the eye of Europe’s leading clubs this summer. Madrid are in need of attacking reinvention and their fans are desperate for reinforcement. The former Lille star may provide them with their answers.
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