Eden Hazard to return to Chelsea?
A prospect that would excite a large majority of the Blues fanbase who have been crying out for their club legend to come home after a largely negative spell at Real Madrid.
Injuries and an inability to secure a regular place in the Los Blancos team under Carlo Ancelotti has caused the player to weigh up his options and it seems a number of clubs are interested in snapping up what could be a bargain deal in the mid-season market.
Despite his worrying injury record, his world-class abilities are unquestionable and he still is a serial winner who could still have an impact wherever he goes.
With all of this being said, football.london have rounded up all the stories out there regarding Hazard and where his next potential destination could be as he looks to end his Real Madrid nightmare.
Eden Hazard could make a stunning return back to Lille, with the French club reportedly willing to offer Jonathan David to Real Madrid in exchange for the struggling Belgian star.
MARCA reports David’s agent made a claim that this would be his client’s final season in Ligue 1, and the reigning French champions hope to use this to their advantage.
His agent (David’s), Nick Mavromaras, revealed that the Premier League is a possible next destination for his client, but explained that a move to Spain is just as likely in an interview with Radio Canada.
“For us, the goal is to finish the season in Lille, but it will be his last season there for several reasons. I think the Premier League is a good option for him,” he said.
“I think that he likes Spain a lot also because he likes the feeling of the ball and the very technical players. These two leagues are a big priority for him, but nothing is excluded.”
Back to his best
Well, he is according to Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti.
“I agree, Hazard is back,” Ancelotti explained in his post-match press conference when asked about the Belgian after the 2-1 Athletic Bilbao win in which the winger featured in.
“Hazard has done well, he fought hard.
“The difference is to defend, they [Hazard and Vinicius] understand well what the team has to do in the defensive phase.”
Real Madrid’s new stance
Initially, Los Blancos were willing to cash in on the winger but an injury crisis at the Santiago Bernabau has opened up another door for the Red Devils international to try and resurrect his turbulent career with Real Madrid.
Carlo Ancelotti has therefore dropped the biggest hint that yet that Blues legend Eden Hazard will stay at the club after his latest performance in La Liga against Cadiz.
The 30-year-old – who has suffered with a number of injuries during his time in the Spanish capital – was afforded a rare start against the minnows and he certainly impressed, as reflected in Chelsea fans’ reaction to the performance of the much-wanted player.
The Blues and Hazard himself are understood to be ‘keen’ on him making a return possible in the upcoming January window but Ancelotti’s admission suggests this will not come to fruition.
He said post-match on Sunday: “It took Hazard a bit of time to get in the game. He did better in the second half.
“He is not so used to playing out on the right wing but inside he combined well with Karim [Benzema].
“He can be another weapon in the second half of the season.”
£21 million price-tag
Initially, the early indications were that Florentino Perez and co. were keen on cashing in on the player in question, before Ancelotti’s recent comments.
As per the Sunday Mirror, Hazard has reportedly been told he can leave in a deal that could only generate £21million as Carlo Ancelotti’s side look to cut their losses. This seems about right, as Transfermarkt similarly value the forward – who is under contract until 2024 – at only £22.5million.
If Hazard was to be sold for that fee, it would represent a whopping £82.5million loss for the Spanish giants, who splashed out a reported £103.5million to bring him to the Santiago Bernabeu.
Hazard has hinted at next destination
Real Madrid’s Eden Hazard has already hinted at where his next move will be amid recent reports linking him to a Premier League return.
Hazard, 30, has had a torrid time in the Spanish capital since sealing his ‘dream’ move to Los Blancos from Chelsea, but a mixture of different injuries, coupled with struggling to adapt to the style of football, has led to claims he could look to leave.
There were reports in October suggesting that Marina Granovskaia had opened ‘informal talks’ to bring the winger back to the Blues on Roman Abramovich’s orders, but not a lot has happened since then regarding a potential west London return.
In fact, other Premier League clubs have reportedly made more progress in bringing Hazard back to England with Newcastle, Everton and West Ham reportedly providing stern competition to Chelsea in this aspect.
Hazard said back in 2018: “When I finish here [Madrid] I’ll come back [to Chelsea].
“I do my job here and then I come back.”
Will that be in January though?
The Belgian is set to return in this upcoming transfer window… but maybe not to Chelsea!
Yes, in fact, there are fresh rumours that there could be a big ‘twist’ in the plot as the Blues’ opponents for the Champions League Round of 16 in the form of Lille, who could make an ambitious play to try and sign the winger.
Lille president Olivier Letang has spoken about the possibility of a return to the club for the 30-year-old ahead of January and his comments are a worrying concern for the Chelsea fans who want this deal to go through.
Letang said: “A return of Hazard to Lille? It is not impossible to see it here. I go to Spain if necessary. It may seem impossible.
“Obviously, Hazard is an incredible player with a lot of quality. Right now, he is a Real Madrid player and is under contract with Real Madrid every day.”
Thomas Tuchel gives the green light
Thomas Tuchel has already issued his honest verdict on Real Madrid and Belgium wide man Eden Hazard, with Chelsea being linked with their former attacker once again.
Hazard represented Chelsea from 2012 until 2019, where he then moved to Los Blancos for over £100million, but things at the Santiago Bernabeu have not worked out thus far for the Belgium international.
Hazard came up against the Blues last season in the Champions League and fuelled rumours over a return to Stamford Bridge, when the Belgian was pictured smiling with his former team-mates after Chelsea beat Real Madrid to reach the final of the European competition.
Before the clash, Tuchel, when asked about Hazard and his future in the Spanish capital, lauded the talents of the winger.
“He is a top quality player and a key player for many years at this club and this league, the hardest in the world,” Tuchel said last season.
“So consistent. I have the biggest respect for him. He is a big player, we have many people here who know him well. He was a key player for this club now he plays for Real Madrid.”
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Key to unlocking the best out of Romelu Lukaku
Romelu Lukaku, 28, who was signed in the summer to score the required goals to take Tuchel’s side to the next level, has struggled in front of goal and with injury since his £97.5m return was confirmed.
Lukaku, despite scoring against Zenit in the 3-3 Champions League draw, is currently on a goal drought in the Premier League but cannot do anything about it due to contracting Covid-19 recently.
One game that summed up the ex-Inter Milan’s recent woes in front of goal was the West Ham 3-2 loss at the London Stadium.
Lukaku’s performance from the bench in his 45-minute cameo in the defeat to West Ham was poor, as per FBRef.com, as he registered only 15 touches in the time he was on the pitch and also only had an expected xG rate of 0.01, with his lone headed attempt the only noticeable contribution in front of goal.
But if anyone knows how to see the best of Lukaku, it is his Belgium teammate Hazard.
This may well be just one of the thought processes behind bringing Hazard back to Stamford Bridge, and if he overcame his injury issues and could rediscover his previous Chelsea form, he would be a snip at £21million.
Despite reportedly strong competition from Everton, Newcastle and West Ham, recent comments from Frank Lampard on Hazard could play a role in the thinking of those at Chelsea and what he can offer.
The Blues legend said on the Overlap show with Gary Neville: “Eden was the best player in the Premier League. You could really feel the reliance had been on him.
“Gets us out of trouble on a bad day and he did it time and time again.”
The ability to get a team out of ‘trouble’ could have been very handy a few weeks ago when the Blues went behind late on against the east Londoners.