Eden Hazard Laughs, 'Maybe' Wants Spain Transfer to Enhance Ballon d'Or Hopes

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistOctober 11, 2018

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 29: Eden Hazard of Chelsea during the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Liverpool FC at Stamford Bridge on September 29, 2018 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images)
Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

Chelsea forward Eden Hazard may have been having some fun with the media on Thursday when he said he wants to move to Spain in order to improve his chances of being crowned as the best player in the world.

It was put to the Chelsea man that the Ballon d'Or winners have come from La Liga clubs recently, to which he laughed and said "that's why I want to go, maybe," he said, per Sky Sports.

Sky Sports News @SkySportsNews

WATCH: @hazardeden10 says he would have to move to Spain to win the Ballon d'Or... #cfc Full story here: https://t.co/UPtQDtIw0G https://t.co/FKQRPbmsI8

However, he did make it clear that he wouldn't want to leave the Blues in the midseason window:

Sky Sports News @SkySportsNews

BREAKING: @hazardeden10 tells @SkySportsNews he will not leave @ChelseaFC in January. #SSN https://t.co/h3nhBHrwes

The Belgium international has been linked with a move away from the Blues after revealing he isn't sure whether he wants to stay at the club or move to his "dream" destination: Real Madrid.

Hazard has enjoyed a remarkable start to the 2018-19 campaign on the back of an outstanding World Cup for his country.

The forward has already netted seven times this term in the Premier League, putting him two clear in the race for the Premier League Golden Boot. The former Lille man has also dazzled defenders with his close control, dribbling ability and eye for a pass.

The Chelsea Twitter account offered a reminder of what he's capable of, posting the stunning individual goal he scored against Liverpool in the Carabao Cup recently:

Chelsea FC @ChelseaFC

Was it ever in doubt? 😉 @HazardEden10's winner at Anfield last month has won the #CarabaoCup Goal of the Round! 👏 https://t.co/QLGWfhSxgm

Blues supporters have enjoyed his exceptional start, although since the team's 3-0 win on Sunday over Southampton, speculation about his future has been ramped up again during the international break.

After admitting he is tempted by a move to the Santiago Bernabeu, it was reported by Jose Felix Diaz of Marca that Real will make their play for the forward next summer.

As was the case with Thibaut Courtois, who joined the European champions from Chelsea in the previous window, Hazard will be coming into the final year of his contract after the end of this campaign if an extension isn't agreed beforehand, meaning he may be available for a knockdown price.

Despite that, according to Simon Johnson of the Evening Standard, Chelsea have not put a new deal in front of him since December:

Simon Johnson @sjstandardsport

Best way to describe #Hazard's mood, as he said to me yesterday, is that he feels in a win-win situation. He loves it at #cfc but would love to play for Real Madrid. Very surprising club haven't made new contract offer yet to their best player though. Last proposal made in Dec

If Madrid were able to get the Chelsea No. 10, it'd be a major coup as Hazard possesses the class to improve any team in the world.

Additionally since the sale of Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus in the summer, Madrid have toiled in front of goal, per Dermot Corrigan of ESPN FC:

Dermot Corrigan @dermotmcorrigan

Last time Madrid went four games without scoring was April 1985 - before any of the current squad was born. Coach Amancio was immediately fired.

The continued hints from Hazard that he wants to move on will be a concern to all those associated with Chelsea, as he's established himself as a crucial player since joining the club in 2012. Replacing him would represent an enormous challenge.

It'd be even tougher if he was sold for a reduced fee as a result of his contract situation. But if Hazard wants a transfer to the Santiago Bernabeu and Madrid want him, it's difficult to see why he'd extend his Chelsea stay.