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