Jose Mourinho will block any attempt from Paris Saint-Germain to sign Eden Hazard, according to reports. The Portuguese boss is not interested in losing Chelsea's Player of the Season, who is said to be the subject of fierce interest from across the Channel.
Paul Brown of the Daily Star provides the details:
There are fears inside Stamford Bridge that PSG are trying to unsettle Hazard, who has had a difficult relationship with Jose Mourinho.
But the Chelsea boss sees the 23-year-old as a key part of his team next season and owner Roman Abramovich won't sanction his sale.
Reports in France suggest PSG are even willing to include Edinson Cavani in a potential swap deal to get their man.
Darren Lewis of the Mirror also believes PSG will offer up to £50 million for a player that is considered their "number one target." Although Brown suggests Edinson Cavani could be thrown into the deal to ensure Chelsea's attack isn't depleted, Mourinho would be wise to hold onto his key star.
According to Kristof Terreur of Belgian newspaper HLN, reports of PSG's interest spread further afield, while Hazard doesn't currently have the representation to easily deal with a potential move:
According to L'Equipe Eden Hazard's still PSG's main target this summer. #CFC— Kristof Terreur (@HLNinEngeland) May 19, 2014
Eden Hazard broke with his agent, John Bico, in October of last year btw. He has no agent atm. #cfc— Kristof Terreur (@HLNinEngeland) May 16, 2014
Hazard's 16 goals and seven assists across 44 Premier League and Champions League games thrust Mourinho's men to the brink of success during the 2013-14 season, per WhoScored.com. His goalscoring output far outshone anyone else at the club, underlining not only his immediate importance, but significance for the future.
While Chelsea need to consciously consider UEFA's financial fair play rules before making any major signings this summer, selling Hazard would be a backwards stride. Many supporters would undoubtedly feel anger toward Mourinho and Roman Abramovich if such a deal went ahead, especially after Juan Mata was offloaded to Manchester United.
Should Chelsea sell Eden Hazard for £50 million?
It would make sense for Mourinho to cash in on David Luiz, who could muster up to £30 million, per ESPN. Although the Chelsea boss and Hazard have had their differences throughout the season, summarised by Dominic Fifield of the Guardian, the 23-year-old has plenty of time to develop into the all-action, duty-bound winger the manager craves to see.
At his best, Hazard patrols the flank with real responsibility. He is capable of defending astutely and offering Cesar Azpilicueta cover, without limiting his ability to burst forward and make a difference on the ball. A prime example of this excellence came during February's 1-0 win away at Manchester City, where he energetically aided all phases of play.
While Hazard doesn't emit this kind of commitment in every game, the potential to do so is there. Suggestions PSG would offer Cavani make sense—his deployment on the left side of Laurent Blanc's 4-3-3 has caused plenty of debate—as Hazard would slot straight into the Uruguayan's role.
PSG are also battling against UEFA's financial fair play guidelines, having been fined after this year's examination, so they would most likely need to get rid of a key player before buying—per Owen Gibson of the Guardian.
Hazard's potential availability will continue to crop up over the summer, especially if he posts an excellent World Cup. This is a player who could challenge for future Ballon d'Or prizes if he continues to improve, and he should be seen as someone Chelsea's future hinges on.
Mourinho likes to throw the odd curveball in management—Mata's sale proved that—but ridding Chelsea of Hazard's talents would be a strike too far.