- A Mundo Deportivo report suggests that Barcelona have been offered Eden Hazard’s services this summer
- The club are not too keen on the Belgian star as he is too expensive and they already have Coutinho
Barcelona have no intention of going after Eden Hazard this summer, as reported by Spanish daily Mundo Deportivo this morning. The Chelsea superstar has indeed been offered to the reigning La Liga champions but for a stratospheric cost. While the report doesn’t carry any information as to which party has offered Hazard’s services to Camp Nou, it is likely that the player’s agent might have done so.
Sarri wants Hazard to stay at Chelsea
The likelihood of Hazard’s agent taking the initiative stems from the fact that Chelsea’s new manager Maurizio Sarri is well aware of the 27-year-old’s qualities and wants him to be the face of his project at Stamford Bridge. Further, Barcelona have also been made aware of Hazard’s price tag which is somewhere in the region of €200 million. The club is in no position to make such a big outlay after making big investments on Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele over the last 12 months.
President Jospe Maria Bartomeu had indeed sanctioned the purchase of Antoine Griezmann from Atletico Madrid for a price of €100 million as it was a great market opportunity to bring in a reliable goal-scorer who also happens to be younger than both Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi. Hazard, while guaranteeing a great show of skills and technical ability, cannot be seen as a pure goal-scorer.
Coutinho is Iniesta’s heir, not Hazard
Another important facet that Mundo Deportivo’s story reveals is that Barcelona essentially view January’s big-money signing Coutinho as the heir to Andres Iniesta’s midfield throne and the club’s bosses were surprised when Hazard was offered to them. The nimble-footed Brazilian was hotly pursued last summer but only arrived in January owing to Liverpool’s tough stance.
Barcelona committed to pay a sum of €120 million for Coutinho’s services, which will go up to €160 million if the variables are taken into account. Bartemou and coach Valverde were very clear in their heads that the 26-year-old magician could be an asset for years and the player to hold their midfield together after Iniesta’s emotional departure this summer.
This is why all the recent Hazard to Barcelona transfer stories seem largely cooked up. The Spanish giants appreciate the Chelsea playmaker’s qualities and remain his admirers but it is one thing to like a player and quite another to actually go after his signature. It is simply not the case and reliable Barcelona sources have confirmed that it is Coutinho who will take up Iniesta’s place in the side and not Hazard.
In addition, the club’s decision makers also view Coutinho and Hazard as similar players who operate in similar positions and play the same kind of technical game. Were the two put together in a team, there is a strong chance of one overshadowing the other or even confining him to the bench.
With the commitment to Coutinho very clear, Barcelona are instead looking to sign to cover up in other positions. The former Liverpool and Inter Milan player is a very well-connected figure in the Barca dressing room, especially with the powerful duo of Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez. The question of overshadowing him is simply not a question.
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