If there was any doubt as to why Real Madrid has made Eden Hazard their number-one transfer target this summer, his performance against West Ham showed just why. With just over a year left on his contract at Stamford Bridge, Real are becoming increasingly confident about signing the Belgium international. Chelsea, meanwhile, don’t appear willing to let their talisman leave easily, reportedly holding out for a £100m offer before even considering letting Hazard move to Madrid. His display against the Hammers won’t have lowered that price tag.
The situation at Chelsea has been complicated somewhat by the club being handed a two-window transfer ban, coming into effect this summer. While that is something the club are appealing, if the club are unable to sign any players until next summer, they will be really apprehensive about letting a player as influential as Hazard leave, even if it brings in £100m. Hazard, meanwhile, has kept his cards close to his chest regarding his future, as has Real Madrid manager Zinedane Zidane.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGZVn2XVGf0]
Much may depend on the future of Maurizio Sarri. The Italian looked to be heading for the Stamford Bridge exit only a matter of weeks ago, with some predicting Chelsea’s trip to Fulham at the beginning of March would be his last as manager. As it is, though, Chelsea’s 2-0 win over West Ham saw the Blues climb up to third in the table. Qualification for next season’s Champions League, especially considering where Chelsea were at the start of the year, may well be enough to convince the board that Sarri deserves another season to see what he can achieve.
Hazard’s links to Real have been around for a couple of years now, at least. The return of Zidane has only furthered those rumours, with the Frenchman a known fan of Hazard. The Belgian has previously admitted he would love to play for Real Madrid, and with no signs that a new contract at Chelsea is forthcoming, it may be that Hazard decides this is the right time to see whether he can make the step up to play for Real. And with Gareth Bale seemingly heading out of the Bernabeu this summer, there will be at least one space for a new Galactico in Madrid this summer.[protected-iframe id=”7feedf55c4960659c67950f4e496be14-142507471-9031552″ info=”https://giphy.com/embed/RMytx3W1vmUEoHpb41″ width=”480″ height=”480″ frameborder=”0″ class=”giphy-embed”]
Heading for another titleless season, Real now they need to make some big moves in the transfer window this summer, not least to show their fans they are determined to challenge Barcelona next season. Hazard hasn’t been the only big name to be linked with Real Madrid in recent months, and Paul Pogba is another that the Spanish giants are looking at this summer. The Manchester United midfielder has rebounded from a disappointing first half to the campaign with a brilliant second half, and Real are believed to be preparing a huge bid to tempt the Premier League side to part with the Frenchman.
One thing is clear, it’s going to be a fascinating summer in the transfer market for a number of clubs – but the battle for Hazard seems it will be one of the most worth watching.Read next
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