According to Kieran Gill of the Daily Mail, the Belgium international has “made up his mind” that his future lies elsewhere and despite only penning a new five-year deal with the Blues last year, is “resigned” that he’ll be on his way.
“Paris Saint-Germain believe they are the frontrunners to sign Hazard in the summer but face competition from Spain's Real Madrid and Germany's Bayern Munich,” writes Gill, who notes Chelsea value him at a staggering £90 million. “The mega-rich French club are confident they can land the playmaker and it is understood Hazard has told close friends he will leave Chelsea at the end of the season.”
This term has been a major fall from grace for the winger. Having inspired the Blues to the Premier League title last season, it was anticipated Hazard would continue to improve again in 2015-16, cementing his status as one of the elite players in the game.
However, it’s been a few months to forget for the Professional Footballers' Association Player of the Year, as he and his team have been far from their very best.
As we can see here courtesy of the Match of the Day Twitter feed, it’s now been a long time since Hazard found the back of the net in the Premier League:
Match of the Day @BBCMOTD
Eden Hazard has gone 2289 minutes without a goal for #CFC in all competitions #MOTD2 https://t.co/c3J9FDVIxw2016-1-3 22:34:32
Even so, Chelsea fans would be disappointed to see the 25-year-old leave the club any time soon, because they will know better than any what he is capable of at full tilt.
On the left flank last season, the former Lille man was a menace to defenders, drifting infield, leaving opposition players trailing on outside, linking up with a centre-forward and most impressively of all, making decisive contributions in the final third. It’s why the Blues will surely do all they can to keep him at the club despite strong interest from elsewhere.
Report: John Stones Bid Made
The Blues courted the England international heavily in the summer, with Everton rejecting four bids for the player from Chelsea and a transfer request from Stones himself. So it’d be no surprise to see the champions reignite their interest in the player during the January window, especially given their own issues at the back this term.
As noted by Jason Burt of the Daily Telegraph during Everton’s 2-1 win over Manchester City on Wednesday, there are few more promising defenders around than Stones:
Jason Burt @JBurtTelegraph
Just leaving Goodison Pk after a great cup tie. Can't think of a better young defender than John Stones. Besic + Barry brilliant also2016-1-6 23:28:32
The 21-year-old still has a lot to learn, though, and without the experience of the injured Phil Jagielka next to him in recent weeks, he has shown his naivety at times.
But if Chelsea were to land him, they’d be getting a world-class centre-back in the making and the most natural heir to defensive stalwart John Terry there is.
With no Champions League football likely to be on show at Stamford Bridge in 2016-17, it’d be no surprise for Chelsea to try and act quickly to get this one done before a potential feeding frenzy at the end of the season.
Everton stood firm throughout the summer in the face of interest from the Blues, though, and they’ll surely do so again midseason.