- Eden Hazard could soon be made Chelsea captain so as to keep him at the club this summer
- Goalkeeper Courtois is still waiting for Real Madrid to get his signing over the line
In today’s Chelsea Transfer News, leading Belgian daily HLN has reported that new Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri is contemplating handing over the captain’s armband to Eden Hazard in a bid to keep him at Stamford Bridge this summer. The club wants to do everything possible to please the 27-year-old superstar and have not entertained any of Real Madrid’s efforts to negotiate so far.
Other than making him the club captain, the Chelsea board has also chalked out a plan of improving Hazard’s current contract which will take his salary to above €360,000 gross per week. Whether all this will satisfy the Belgian star is a different matter altogether as he has much bigger sporting ambitions and they might be without Chelsea.
Another key stumbling block in this Chelsea Transfer News could be the early closure (August 9) of Premier League’s transfer window this year. In principle, this means that foreign clubs could well come in for England-based players after the 9th of August but Roman Abramovich has no intention of letting his talisman leave after the transfer deadline. He has promised Sarri that Hazard will remain at the club and doesn’t see too many difficulties in keeping the player in West London at this stage.
Playing for Real Madrid – Hazard’s boyhood dream
To add to this Chelsea Transfer News, it has now been almost two weeks since the end of 2018 FIFA World Cup where Hazard publicly stated that he was ready for a new challenge but the negotiations around his transfer haven’t even started. There were reports that after Neymar and Kylian Mbappe both said a firm ‘No’ to Real Madrid, Florentino Perez had made Hazard his priority signing as the successor to Cristiano Ronaldo. The player assumed it to be a once in a lifetime chance and an opportunity he did not want to let go at any cost.
Hazard has followed Real Madrid and dreamt of playing at Santiago Bernabeu ever since he was a young boy and it is an ambition which he has never really hidden. People at Chelsea know this and the people at Real Madrid know this as well. Yet, he went a step ahead and firmly indicated his preference once again when he said “you know my preferred destination” after the end of Belgium’s campaign in Russia earlier this month.
However, Hazard’s wish is far from becoming a reality as of now. Partly because Chelsea have continued to block all attempts at negotiations. On and off the record, the player is not for sale at any cost. Also, there has not been a single official bid from Madrid so far as they received very little encouragement on the deal after holding lengthy discussions with brokers and representatives associated with Chelsea.
Madrid not willing to meet Hazard’s asking price
Madrid are in no mood to heed to Chelsea’s astronomical demand of €225 million for Hazard. President Perez is hoping for a favourable deal and has also instructed new boss Julen Lopetegui to look withing his existing squad to find a replacement for Cristiano. Only when Chelsea are willing to lower their price for Hazard, will Madrid come in and discuss the transfer. The chances of this happening are very less at this moment.
The Champions League winners are also known to instigate players into revolting against their existing clubs and forcing a move to the Spanish capital. Whether Hazard will go that far to seal his dream move remains to be seen. Barcelona, another big contender for the player, is no longer an option.
The head honchos at Chelsea are calm at present but they clearly remember what Hazard told them in December last year – that he will not renew his current deal beyond 2020 and that he would be ready for a fresh challenge after spending six years at the club. His recent statement in Russia also indicated the same and did not come as a surprise to Chelsea, who have been preparing themselves for Hazard’s potential exit over the past six months or so.
Some potential substitutes have also been identified but the ball firmly remains in Chelsea and Abramovich’s court. Their only real concern is that what if Hazard himself hands in a transfer request to force the move, more so after the August 9 deadline.
Courtois still waiting for Real jMadrid
Meanwhile, another key Chelsea Transfer News is that goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois is not growing impatient at being made to wait for so long to complete his dream move to Real Madrid. He is currently on a holiday in Tenerife and is aware of the fact that Chelsea have agreed a €40 million deal in principle with the La Liga giants.
The former Atletico Madrid man has long been on Real Madrid’s wishlist. However, the move is being delayed as Chelsea are yet to find a substitute goalkeeper and will not give their final blessing to the deal until a new No. 1 is found.
Hazard would soon like to join Courtois at Santiago Bernabeu and the goalkeeper is praying for the same. Possible or just idle dreams? Time will tell.
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