Real Madrid have signed Eden Hazard from Chelsea on a five-year contract
Real Madrid have confirmed the signing of Eden Hazard from Chelsea on a five-year contract.
The 28-year-old will be officially unveiled as a Real player on Thursday, June 13 – subject to a medical – after striking a deal that could reportedly rise to a club-record transfer of £130m once all bonus payments come into play.
Hazard released a statement on social media after the announcement, which read: “You now know that I will be joining Real Madrid. It’s no secret that it was my dream to play for them since I was a young boy just scoring my first goal.
“Now the clubs have reached an agreement I hope you understand I had to pursue my next chapter, just as each and every one of you should when you have the chance to pursue your dreams.
“Leaving Chelsea is the biggest and toughest decision in my career to date. Now it’s in the open I would like to put on record one thing was always clear to me, I have loved every moment at Chelsea and not once did I ever consider, nor would I have left for any other club.”
Hazard becomes Madrid’s second major signing after Frankfurt’s Luka Jovic, in a summer of rebuilding in Zinedine Zidane’s second stint as manager at the Bernabeu.
‘Hazard can make the difference’ Former Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon believes Hazard is a fantastic signing for the club and he can be the player to make a difference for Zinedine Zidane’s side next season.
The Blues have previously rejected bids for the star player from Madrid, as they push to keep hold of him.
However, Hoddle contends time could be ripe for the Blues to cash in on the former Lille winger, but was quick to warn it would be almost impossible to have the 28-year old replaced.
“I feel it might be the right time for him personally, not for Chelsea or the Premier League, but for him to go to Real Madrid if that offer is there on the table for him,” SunSport quoted the 61-year old.
“Chelsea, at the moment, there’s something missing but without Hazard in the team and all the hope [goes]. You take him away from that team… and you’ve got a massive hole to fill,” he submitted.
Be that as it may, it remains unclear if Chelsea would be ready to offload one of their best players, with a two-window transfer ban still hanging on their necks.
Eden Hazard reveals what Chelsea must do to have any chance of keeping him this summer
Chelsea transfer news includes a look at the Belgian’s comments after drawing with Manchester United
Eden Hazard has reiterated his desire to play in the Champions League next season but has expressed his confidence both he and Chelsea will be in the competition next season.
A 1-1 draw with Manchester United keeps the Blues in the driving seat for a top four place with the side now sitting two points ahead of Arsenal and three ahead of United with just two games left in the season.
They also have another route in Europe’s elite competition next season in the form of the Europa League, with victory in the final in Baku in May also one way of securing a place in the competition.
What Eden Hazard’s brother has said about the Chelsea star’s future amid Real Madrid links
At the moment it looks likely, but what will concern Chelsea fans more is where their superstar will be playing next season.
He’s been endlessly linked with Real Madrid for the latter half of the campaign and looks set to leave for the Bernabeu next season to play under Zinedine Zidane – Hazard’s childhood hero.
Should Chelsea not secure Champions League football that move looks done and dusted, with the Belgian making sure it’s no secret that he wants to be back in Europe’s elite next year.
But for the moment his focus is solely on Chelsea and making sure they get a place in the Champions League – something that will give the side some small glimmer of hope of holding onto him.
He said: “Chelsea has to play in the Champions League every year.
“It’s one of biggest clubs in the world, and for myself also I want to play in the Champions League – and we will.”
‘Hazard isn’t Messi, he’ll never get 40 goals!’ – Chelsea expect too much from Belgian, says ex-Blues star
Maurizio Sarri has been accused by Craig Burley of having made a talismanic forward too big a part of his plans, with there no alternative plan
Eden Hazard is “not Lionel Messi” and Chelsea are expecting too much from a man who will never hit the heights of a Barcelona icon, claims Craig Burley.
A Belgium international at Stamford Bridge is similar to a five-time Ballon d’Or winner in as much as he has become a talismanic presence for his club.
If Hazard plays well, then Chelsea tend to fare better.
There is, however, expectation that the 28-year-old will put in a match-winning performance every time he takes to the field.
As a result, Maurizio Sarri stands accused of having made Hazard too prominent a figure in his plans, with others needing to help share the load currently being carried by a man who may not be sticking around.
Former Blues midfielder Burley told ESPN FC: “The trouble with Chelsea is the Plan A, B and C is get the ball to Eden Hazard.
“When A fails it’s get the ball to Eden Hazard, when that fails it’s still the same – get the ball to Eden Hazard.
“Everybody’s sort of waiting on this guy who has had a good season, but is carrying so much weight on his shoulders of quite a few that haven’t performed consistently.
“He’s not Messi. He’s a great player, a very good player, but you can’t rely on him to get the 40 goals a season.
“So others have to take control and take responsibility and I just think too often it’s like ‘he’ll dig us out the hole, he’ll dig us out a result’.”
Hazard has contributed 16 goals and 13 assists to Chelsea’s Premier League cause this season.
Those efforts have the Blues sat inside the top four and on course to secure Champions League qualification for 2019-20.
Questions are, however, being asked of his future in west London.
Hazard is among those said to be registering on the transfer radar of La Liga giants Real Madrid, with a player who fits the ‘Galactico’ mould having made no secret of his fondness for the Blancos.
It could be that a move is made this summer, with Chelsea having been unable to agree fresh terms with a prized asset who will see his current contract expire in 2020.
Eden Hazard bags 2019 PFA Player of the Year nomination
The Chelsea superstar is one of six nominees up for the award
To nobody’s surprise, the nominations for the PFA’s Players’ Player of the Year award are dominated by players representing Liverpool and Manchester City, the two best and most consistent teams this season who have lit up the Premier League in terms of entertainment as well as competitiveness.
That Eden Michael Hazard, the only one of the six nominees not to play for one of the two title-contenders, managed to bag a place in the nominations, speaks volumes about his sheer brilliance.
The other nominees include Sergio Agüero, Bernardo Silva, and Raheem Sterling (all Manchester City) and Liverpool duo Virgil van Dijk and Sadio Mané.
Hazard currently leads the Premier league in goal contributions with 28 — 16 goals and 12 assists — which means that he’s had a direct hand in 49 per cent of Chelsea league goals (57) this season.
This is Hazard’s fifth nomination in his seven years in England. He won it in 2014-15 and came second in 2016-17, the two title-winning seasons in his Chelsea career
Five players who could replace Eden Hazard at Chelsea
It is fair to say that Eden Hazard is one of the best players we have seen at Chelsea in the Premier League era. He made the move to the Premier League from Lille in 2012, and in the six years since has become one of the best players in the world.
After Belgium’s 2-0 win over England in the third place play-off, during which Hazard scored, the 27 year-old said:
“After six wonderful years at Chelsea it might be time to discover something different. Certainly after this World Cup. I can decide if I want to stay or go, but Chelsea will make the final decision – if they want to let me go. You know my preferred destination.”
Hazard has come on leaps and bounds in his time at Chelsea. He was still a raw talent when he made the £32 million move to Stamford Bridge after Chelsea’s Champions League triumph in 2012, and he has now put himself right up among the best players in the world.
He has appeared 300 times in all competitions for Chelsea, scoring 89 goals, and winning two Premier League titles, an FA Cup, a League Cup, and the 2012/13 Europa League.
He has a lot to thank Chelsea for. He had a shocking 2015/16 season, during which, despite winning the PFA Player of the Year award the previous campaign, he took until April to score his first league goal of the season, and struggled to hold down a place in the team. It would have been easy for Chelsea to sell him in the summer and look to move on, but they gave him another chance, and he has made the most of it.
Given that Real Madrid have just sold Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus, it is likely that they will be looking for someone in Hazard’s mould to come in, and it is no secret that Real is the Belgian’s dream move.
If he goes, Chelsea will have to replace Hazard, and here are five men they could look to sign to do just that.
1 Dries Mertens (Napoli)
We’ve already seen Jorginho follow Maurizio Sarri from Napoli to Chelsea, so it isn’t out of the question that Mertens could do it as well. He has thrived in his last two seasons in Serie A under Sarri, scoring 46 leagues goals in the league, 24 more than in his previous three seasons combined. Mertens plays a similar role to Hazard in Naples, and has played alongside him on the international stage with Belgium.
At 31, Mertens would only be a short-term replacement for Hazard, but has defied stereotypes by producing his best form after the age of 30. It can only last so long however, so he could only have one or two years left at the top of his game. If Chelsea were to make the move, it would be low risk, because Mertens’ release clause is just £24.7 million. In this day and age, that isn’t too much, so don’t be too surprised if he turns up at Stamford Bridge this summer.
2 Hirving Lozano (PSV)
Very little was known of Lozano a couple of months ago, but after an impressive showing at the World Cup in Russia, he is one of football’s hottest properties. He had a good season in the Eredivisie last year, scoring 17 goals in 29 games for PSV, but the fact he has shown what he can do on the biggest stage, means he has started to attract interest from some of Europe’s biggest clubs.
He is another man who is similar to Hazard in his style. He is most comfortable on the left wing, but is right footed, so is able to cut inside, which was how he scored a number of his goals last season. He is one of the quickest players we have seen at this World Cup, and that is always something clubs will be looking to add to their sides. His temperament has been bought into question in the past, as despite only being 22, he has already received eight red cards in his career. That would make it a risk for Chelsea to make a move, as would his lack of experience, as last year was his first in European football.
3 Leon Bailey (Bayer Leverkusen)
Bailey is one ofthe most talked about footballers in Europe at the moment, partly due to questions of who he would declare his international allegiance for heading into the World Cup. Bailey is available to play for Jamaica, the country of his birth, and it is also believed that he is able to play for Belgium and England. It is no surprise that both countries wanted him to play for them. He is still only 20, but has already shown how good a player he could be in a couple of years.
Any Chelsea interest in Bailey wouldn’t come as a surprise, given that the Blues, along with Manchester United, were both interested in bringing him to England before he joined Bayer Leverkusen in January 2017. He has all the attributes needed to be a top player. He is a fast, tricky winger, but will feel that his final product does need some improvement. He isn’t the finished product just yet, and Chelsea may have to wait a couple of years to get the best out of him, but it could be worth it.
4 Gareth Bale (Real Madrid)
Bale is an interesting one, because there is a chance he could leave Real Madrid after struggling to hold down a first team spot in the last couple of years, but with Cristiano Ronaldo now gone, and Julen Lopetegui taking over, he may be prepared to give it another season. He is 29 now, so should be at the peak of his career, and will really want to be somewhere he is guaranteed football week-in, week-out.
There is no doubting Bale’s ability. He scored 16 goals in La Liga last season despite being limited to just 26 appearances because of injuries. His crowning glory though came in the Champions League final, where he scored a magnificent overhead kick to help take his side to victory over Liverpool. There aren’t many better players that Chelsea could sign this summer. On his day, Bale is right up there with the best in the world, but the issue with the Welshman has always been injures, and Chelsea will worry how much he would be available this season if he does make the move to Stamford Bridge.
5 Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace)
Zaha is probably the wildcard on this list. He doesn’t have the numbers of the other players on the list, but his importance to Crystal Palace is something worth looking at. Palace didn’t win any of the nine Premier League games that he missed last season, and he played a crucial role in helping them avoid relegation.
He does have a lot of qualities that will be attractive to Chelsea. He is fast, direct, and despite what his numbers suggest, does have a good finishing product. Often, we see players raise their games when surrounded by better players, and that’s the sort of thing we could see from Zaha if he moves to Stamford Bridge. However, the Blues may be slightly put off by the fact he seemed out of his depth when he joined Manchester United in 2013, but you’d expect that he has matured since then.
Hazard placed above Drogba & Zola in Chelsea pecking order as transfer talk rages on
One of the Blues’ most successful foreign imports considers the Belgian star to be the best that the club has ever acquired from abroad
Gianfranco Zola is considered by many to be Chelsea’s finest ever player, but he believes Eden Hazard is the best overseas import to have been acquired by the Blues.
Many foreign superstars have graced the books at Stamford Bridge down the years.
Former Italy international Zola is among the most revered, recording 80 goals in 312 appearances between 1996 and 2003.
Among the others to have scaled similar heights is Didier Drogba, with the Ivorian striker helping to secure Premier League and Champions League crowns across two spells with the Blues.
Zola, though, believes that icons of the past now find themselves living in the shadow of the Belgian forward who has become a talismanic presence since being snapped up in 2012.
The man who is back at Chelsea as assistant coach to Maurizio Sarri has said when quizzed on the pecking order of foreign talent: “Eden Hazard’s definitely at the very top.
“He’s such an unbelievable player. The more I’ve spent time with him the more I appreciate him as a player, but also as a boy.
“He’s been great. I would love to have him for longer. What we are trying to do here perfectly suits him. It’s no coincidence that he’s having his best season.
“I don’t want to take anything away from him and what he has achieved. But certainly, the way we play helps him a lot.”
Hazard has delivered 85 goals and 81 assists across 241 Premier League appearances for Chelsea and is very much the main man under Sarri.
Questions continue to be asked of his future, though, with a move to Real Madrid being mooted as he approaches the final 12 months of his contract.
Zola added on the 28-year-old: “Of course we hope that Hazard will stay with us because he’s such an important player for us.
“There’s a lot of talking around this team, I realise that.
“But we as coaches have to make sure we are not distracted by all of that.
“We need to maintain focus because this year a lot of times I heard talk that it’s been a bad season.
“But if we can reach the final and maybe win the Europa League and end up fourth in the Premier League, I think it could be a remarkable season.”
Chelsea, who are chasing down a top-four finish in the Premier League this season, are back in continental action on Thursday when they take in the second leg of a Europa League quarter-final clash with Slavia Prague that they currently lead 1-0 on aggregate.
Eden Hazard believes Callum Hudson-Odoi is “the future of Chelsea” and that he is already playing like an experienced winger.
Having impressed off the bench this season, Hudson-Odoi made just his second Premier League start in Chelsea’s 3-0 win over West Ham on Monday Night Football.
And Hazard, who could be on the move to Real Madrid as Sky Sports News understands the Spanish giants are increasingly confident of signing the forward this summer, believes the 18-year-old has a bright long-term future in west London.
“He’s the future of Chelsea,” Hazard exclusively told Sky Sports.
“I’ve told him already. He’s still young but when you see him he looks like he’s played 10 years.
“He’s a great guy to work with, he’s been fantastic. He wants to learn and he’s young so I hope Chelsea can keep him for a long time.
“He’s got quality, sometimes I understand it’s hard to get young players in the team because we have people like me, Willian, Pedro.
“But when he has the chance to play they have to show they’re ready and Callum is showing that right now.”
Eden Hazard ranks first for goal involvement in the Premier League
Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri admits he is powerless to keep the Belgium international at the club if he wishes to leave, but the 28-year-old forward says the Chelsea squad are now adapting to the Italian’s management style.
“Like I said before, he’s a fantastic manager,” he said.
“After [Antonio] Conte it wasn’t easy, he came here with his own ideas. It’s not easy to play the way he wants but now we are starting to understand.
“We have to adapt a little bit, but for a first season we got to the Carabao Cup final, the league is going okay and we can win Europa League. We just need to see how we finish.
“We are working a lot because this manager is different to Conte, who is different to [Jose] Mourinho.
“When you get a new manager it’s not easy to change everything but we’ve seen the last two to three weeks we can play well under this manager.”
Chelsea travel to Liverpool on Super Sunday pursuing a top-four finish with five league matches to go.
And although Hazard respects Liverpool’s efforts this season, he hopes Chelsea can derail their title challenge by leaving Anfield with all three points.
He added: “.They’ve been on fire for two years, not just this season.
“It’s a fantastic team to watch, the manager is great – some of the best players in the world. It’s going to be a good game, a hard one but it’s always hard at Anfield.
“We want to win to get into the top four, we don’t care about the title race.
“I want to say [Manchester] City [will win the title] because we have Liverpool still to play.
Real Madrid begin house hunting for Chelsea star Eden Hazard .
Real Madrid are very confident in signing Eden Hazard this summer. Los Blancos’ chiefs have reportedly began house hunting for the Belgian in Spain
Hazard has scored 16 goals in 32 Premier League games this season for Chelsea Spanish giants Real Madrid have reportedly began house hunting for Chelsea star Eden Hazard as they are confident of signing the Belgian this summer in a mega deal.
His impressive display prompted manager Maurizio Sarri, to argue he was worth more than £100 million amid interest from Real Madrid. After the game, his teammate Higuain was asked about the possibility of him leaving for LaLiga.
“What can I tell you? Those are things that involve the club executives and the desire of the player.
“When a player has a desire, it is difficult to change his mind,” the ex-Real Madrid forward said.