Chelsea's Eden Hazard, 23, will incessantly be linked with moves away from west London. When you possess the rare talent the Belgian international does, it's easy to comprehend why the Real Madrids and Paris Saint-Germains of the world would want you in their starting XIs.
Express' Ben Jefferson noted the Blues' winger received interest from PSG, and has entertained the idea of playing at the Santiago Bernabeu, but remains focused on his Chelsea duties.
Playing for Real Madrid is an understandable emotion, as they are the diamond club in world football.
Los Merengues' white shirt represents tradition, trophies and excellence—so Hazard imagining himself in a Madrid kit seems more than logical.
And it's not like Stamford Bridge hasn't seen that particular film before but leaving Chelsea for Paris Saint-Germain?
The French champions aren't quite the same fruit as Madrid—apples and oranges rather than oranges and tangerines.
Three things are getting lost in the Parisians' rumored interest in Hazard.
First, the Chelsea star's a family man. Married with children, the Belgian isn't your typical 23-year-old footballer. Having a family to think about may dull any sense to be nomadic.
Second, Hazard's younger brother Thorgan is a Chelsea commodity and is running riot in the Belgian first division. As there's every possibility the brothers could share the same Stamford Bridge pitch, why move from London?
Third, and most importantly, Hazard selected the Blues.
Regarding Chelsea's Hazard capture, ESPN FC's Ian Holyman wrote:
The highly sought-after Belgium international had a host of clubs chasing his signature, but opted for Chelsea after former Blues forward [Didier] Drogba contacted fellow Ivorian Gervinho, who was Hazard's teammate at Lille at the time, to help pave the way from northern France to west London.
Whether by the lure of Roman Abramovich's billions, Didier Drogba's wishes or the want to play for the European champions, Hazard elected Stamford Bridge in any event; as winning the Europa League surely wasn't on his "then-I'll-leave-London" checklist, Hazard still has something to prove for his current club.
Metro's Hannah Duncan reported Jose Mourinho would sell Hazard, and his midfield teammate Oscar, to PSG for £300 million.
While Metro's headline is rather hyperbolic—as Mourinho was dealing in impossible hypotheticals—it goes to prove how highly coveted Hazard and Oscar have become in less than 24 months at Stamford Bridge.
If the Parisians want the duo, they'll be forced into breaking UEFA's Financial Fair Play regulations, which was the point Mourinho attempted to make with his £300 million comment.
Knowing well the stupidity which takes over clubs with stockpiles of cash (see Fernando Torres and Andriy Shevchenko), Chelsea would do well to entertain any offer for a player on their roster but selling is another notion altogether.
Football—as we often forget—is primarily a business. With Hazard's age and talent level, he's more valuable to Chelsea in blue than any other colour. Hazard's current appraisal (£39.5 million via TransferMarkt) wouldn't come close to the branding interests he would help market or the merchandise his last name would help shift.
In many respects, Chelsea would be foolish to sell the Belgian at this stage in his career, unless—as Mourinho suggested—the figured was so outlandish (£100 million plus) Chelsea were compelled by logic and/or common sense to let their talisman leave.
To answer the title question: "Eden Hazard to Paris Saint-Germain: Smart or Not Smart?"
Selling Hazard to a European competitor seems sour—shipping him before he's reached his prime feels even more disgusting from a Chelsea perspective. The Blues have at least six players who need to be sold or released in the next five months, Hazard isn't among that lot.
The Belgian winger should be the cornerstone of Mourinho's second west London project, not its building fund.
Final verdict: Not smart.
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