Eden Hazard Reportedly to Push for Real Madrid Transfer After Comments on FutureFebruary 5, 2019
Real Madrid have reportedly given Chelsea winger Eden Hazard "assurances" they will make a move for him this summer.
The Daily Telegraph's Matt Law reported on Tuesday that belief is growing in Spain that Hazard will be a member of Los Merengues next season. Law noted "Chelsea are braced for Real to make an offer for Hazard, who they value at upwards of £100 million despite the fact his deal will only have 12 months left to run at the end of the season."
He also detailed how Hazard's friends "are convinced his mind is made up" about moving to the Santiago Bernabeu. All that remains is for the two clubs to come to an agreement.
Law's report comes on the heels of comments Hazard made during an interview with French radio station RMC (h/t Law): "I know what I will do. I have made my decision."
While the interview will air Wednesday evening, Law reported it was completed in late 2018.
The idea of Chelsea losing their most influential player in a matter of months is a major blow for manager Maurizio Sarri.
He's trying to build a team based on dominating possession and making artful use of the ball and it's been a tricky process with a few bumps in the road. Sarri's team is fourth in the Premier League but has lost five times already, including a 4-0 defeat away to Bournemouth on Wednesday.
The Blues remain heavily reliant on Hazard as the creative fulcrum. When he has an off night, it greatly impacts the team's chances of success.
However, when Hazard clicks into gear, so do the rest of Sarri's men. It happened during Saturday's 5-0 win over Huddersfield Town, during which Hazard scored twice to further underline his importance:
Letting Hazard go won't be easy, but it will be harder for Chelsea to keep him. Not only has he made no secret of his desire to one day play for Real, but his contract situation also puts the Blues in a bind.
Coming up with a deal to keep the mercurial 28-year-old in west London will likely demand hefty investment with Los Blancos circling. Guaranteeing Hazard has enough reasons to stay at Stamford Bridge will also surely hinge on whether Chelsea can qualify for the UEFA Champions League.
While Sarri has his side in the last qualification spot, the Blues' place in Europe's premier club competition next season is far from certain with Manchester United and Arsenal two and three points behind, respectively.
Chelsea could be outside the top four by the time they travel to title-chasing Manchester City on Sunday, if United have won in Fulham or Arsenal beat Huddersfield Town away on Saturday.
If Chelsea can fetch a nine-figure fee for Hazard, this summer seems like the ideal time to do it.
Not only would a sale end a potentially fractious transfer saga that's been brewing for a while, it would also give Sarri the funds he needs to complete a makeover of the squad.