Recent reports in Spain have emerged, stating that Real Madrid are eyeing up a record-breaking move for Eden Hazard in the summer transfer window.
Former Real president Ramon Calderon has also backed these claims, stating:
“Chelsea will ask for a lot of money. I think that’s what the situation will be at the end of the season.”.
Reports from Spain also suggest that Chelsea are willing to let go of the Belgian, even going as far as claiming that the club have a “gentleman’s agreement” to let him go in the summer.
Despite these rumours being published by the Madrid-based Spanish media, the move makes very little sense for all parties involved, and here’s why.
Having never been seen as a selling club in the Abramovich era, why would Chelsea start now? The club have never made it easy for rivals, both foreign and domestic, to buy their players and it would take a spectacular offer from Real to prise a player like Hazard away.
Although Real may end up coming in with an offer in excess of £100m, even that sum most likely wouldn’t turn Abramovich’s head.
Chelsea are leading the Premier League comfortably and are looking to build a new dynasty under Antonio Conte, not tear down what they have got.
In Hazard, Chelsea have a game-winner and a superstar, a player capable of winning games on his own. We’ve seen time and time again in his time in England, his capacity to take games by the scruff of the neck and decide them. Although last season was a year to forget for him, he has bounced back in this campaign and proven his quality once more.
Former Chelsea coach Ray Wilkins also chimed in on the debate, saying:
“For Chelsea to lose Hazard, who is one of the best players on the planet, they would have to replace this guy, and he is irreplaceable at the moment in time.”
“He’s a wonderfully gifted footballer and why would Chelsea want to give him up?”
“What they’ve done over the last 10 to 12 years has been nothing short of phenomenal, so if you want to be the best why sell the best?”
Wilkins is right in what he says. Chelsea have very little reason to let go of Hazard and a player of his calibre would be impossible to replace.
Yet more doubt can be put against these rumours when you consider where Hazard would actually fit into the current Real Madrid side. Whilst Zidane has made his admiration for Hazard public in the past, the Real manager would find it hard to fit the Belgian into his system.
With Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale already on long-term, big-money contracts at the club, it raises the question: where would Hazard fit? Although there is no doubt he would be able to compete for minutes against Bale and Ronaldo, he would certainly not be seeing the game-time that he receives at Chelsea.
On top of all that, there’s the small matter that Eden Hazard has publicly stated multiple times that he is happy in London at Chelsea. Last season, Hazard said:
“I have a contract until 2020, I feel good here and I don’t want to finish on a season like that.”
Whilst Chelsea do look like they will go on to finish this season strongly, by potentially winning the Premier League and FA Cup double, Hazard will still not have finished his clean sweep at the club if they do so, with the Champions League being the only major trophy other than the FA Cup that he hasn’t won in his time in London.