Chelsea confident of keeping Hazard…for now

Chelsea do not believe they will lose star man Eden Hazard to Real Madrid this summer, but they are well aware that the Spanish giants want him on board.

President Florentino Perez is keen for a new ‘Galactico’ to come on board, and Hazard is emerging as that man.

Real also have a strong interest in Hazard’s Chelsea and Belgian team-mate Thibaut Courtois and I have been told a joint bid is not beyond the realms of fantasy – but Blues owner Roman Abramovich is ready to battle for the pair.

Hazard has been at Chelsea since 2012 when he joined from Lille and he has played nearly 250 games for the club since arriving. He is contracted to the club until 2020 – so there is no imminent threat of him leaving from Chelsea’s view point.

Chelsea do not need to sell but realise any player in the world can have his head turned, especially when it comes to Real Madrid – but the Premier League-champions elect believe that both Hazard and Courtois will give boss Antonio Conte at least one more season to see just where he can take the club.

Conte and Chelsea were not in Europe this season, therefore they are yet to have a go at winning the Champions League and because of this, the club firmly believe both players will give the Italian at least one chance to guide them to European glory – given his huge success already witnessed during his first campaign.

Hazard is already considered one of the best players in the world and after a lacklustre season last term under Jose Mourinho, he is back to his best under Conte and has been one of the stand-out players in their charge towards the Premier League title.

Perez, who looks set to run for a fifth term as Real Madrid supremo this year, has made it known behind the scenes that he is keen to land Hazard – but as he has done with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale in the past, he can take a long-term on a transfer and that could mean taking up to 12-months to broker a deal.

Spanish newspaper Marca – who are very close to the Real hierarchy – had a front page article on Monday which only highlighted the fact that the Madrid giants are keen on Belgian star.

One trump card for Madrid is the fact that Hazard and Real coach Zinedine Zidane are huge admirers of each other. Hazard has said: “Zidane is the best player in history.”

Whilst back in 2010, Zidane said: “Hazard is the world class player of the future, he’s very good and is going to be even more so. I would take him to Madrid with my eyes closed.”

Any deal for Hazard would require a world record fee and could be the first deal to break the £100million barrier. The current record is the £89million paid by Manchester United to Juventus for Paul Pogba last summer.

Sources close to Chelsea are confident that they will be able to hang-on to Hazard, for at least another 12-months – although the player’s thoughts on the issue are yet to be heard, publicly anyway. But the Chelsea camp is a united one and Hazard’s happiness has been a huge aspect of him playing well this season, which in-turn has been the key to their hugely successful campaign.

Real know that getting Hazard would be a hugely tough task, and the Bookmakers remain unconvinced that the deal will happen. SkyBet are listing him at 5/1 to join Real Madrid this summer – but 1/5 to remain at Stamford Bridge.

SkyBet’s Dale Tempest told “The international break creates a football news void that usually gets filled by agents touting their players around the top clubs and Hazard to Madrid looks like of those situations.”


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