Will Real Madrid move for the Chelsea star? Here’s what we know

Updated: 04/12/2022


Eden Hazard was the original transfer tease. Long before the likes of Antoine Griezmann took to filming documentaries to create an allure around the next step in his career, the Chelsea star was dropping hints on social media.

Back when he was a Lille player, it was obvious that he was destined for footballing greatness. Incredibly talented and also experienced after getting exposure to top-flight football as a youngster, Hazard was of interest to plenty of big European clubs. Rather than keeping his silence and doing his talking through club statements or carefully planned interviews, Twitter was his billboard of choice.

On 28 May 2012, Hazard dropped the tantalising tweet: “I’m signing for the Champion’s [sic] League winner.” It came a week after Chelsea’s 4-3 penalty shoot-out victory over Bayern Munich in the Champions League final. This time around, as speculation surrounds a potential switch to Real Madrid, Hazard isn’t willing to make things any less of a guessing game.

Here is everything that we know about the situation as it stands.

What has Hazard said?

Eden Hazard rarely shies away from answering the difficult questions
Hazard rarely shies away from answering the difficult questions (Getty Images)

Hazard hasn’t shied away from the fact that the Bernabeu would be an interesting destination for him in his playing future. Though the 28-year-old enjoys London life and is comfortable at Chelsea, a press conference that he gave while on Belgium duty back in the autumn of 2018 was quite revealing. It told a tale of a player whose head was battling with his heart.

Hazard on international duty in 2018:

“Real Madrid is the best club in the world. I don’t want to lie. It has been my dream since I was a kid. I was dreaming about this club We will see.”

Since that press conference, the transfer talk hasn’t gone away. Neither have Chelsea fans’ worries. Although Hazard could still sign a new deal at the club and commit to winning another big trophy at Stamford Bridge, his honours list at the club already contains two Premier League trophies and one Europa League win – which could soon become two.

Hazard when asked on BT Sport whether the Europa League final will be his last game:

“I don’t think about that, I’m only thinking to win something for this club, for this squad.

“If it’s my last game, I will try to do everything. If it’s not, we will see. In my mind, I don’t know yet, so I’m just thinking of winning games, that’s it.”

The week following his interview on BT Sport, in the wake of Chelsea’s league match against Leicester City, the Belgian contradicted himself and stated that he had made his decision “a couple of weeks ago” and that he would have liked the whole saga to have been concluded. It could be a long month.

How much would he cost?

Eden Hazard tucks home the winning penalty to take Chelsea to the Europa League final
Hazard tucks home the winning penalty against Eintracht Frankfurt to take Chelsea to the Europa League final (Getty Images)

French sports newspaper L’Equipe have suggested that Real Madrid would be prepared to stump up €100 million for Hazard’s signature, despite the Belgian only having a contract that runs until the summer of 2020. A disappointing season for Los Blancos will only fuel the desire to land a big star, as the post-Cristiano Ronaldo hangover continues. L’Equipe say that the deal is already done and will be made official after the Europa League final on 29 March.

BBC Sport journalist David Ornstein gave his take on the situation on BBC 5 Live this week:

“Despite reports to the contrary, his mooted move to Real Madrid is not done with Marina Granovskaia, the Chelsea director, putting up a fight on that one. If he is sold and the transfer ban is delayed, then I’ve been told that they [Chelsea] have an interest in Philippe Coutinho.”

Another factor to take into account from a Chelsea point of view is their incoming transfer ban. The club won’t know until mid-July whether their suspension from participating in the transfer market will be upheld, leaving them in a very awkward position.

Should Chelsea be unable to conduct the business that they’d like to this summer, the situation would likely dictate that Olivier Giroud’s contract be extended by a further year, while the likes of Michy Batshuayi and Tammy Abraham could be given a chance to prove themselves after spells on loan. Christian Pulisic could be left with a huge void to fill and that bleak reality might leave Chelsea fighting tooth and nail to keep Hazard.

Where should he go?

Chelsea fans let Eden Hazard know their feelings
Chelsea fans let Hazard know their feelings (Getty Images)

After speaking at length about his dream to be a Real Madrid player last year, there is only one destination that makes sense for Hazard. The reports in France and Spain suggest that Los Blancos are the only serious contenders for his signature, while Antoine Griezmann’s potential move to Barcelona could open the door for Coutinho to head to Chelsea in a transfer merry-go-round.

With one game left to play in the 2018-19 campaign, Real Madrid have netted 63 goals in La Liga, compared to 94 in 2017-18. In the latter, Ronaldo contributed 26 goals. Had he been around to do the same this season, Zinedine Zidane’s side would currently be outscoring Barcelona by one. Ronaldo’s absence is still being felt and Hazard might be the man to replace him.

This post first appeared here

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