Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has told reporters that he “prefers other players” to Eden Hazard at present as speculation mounts that the Belgian could make a return to Chelsea.
Hazard left Stamford Bridge in the summer of 2019 for €100million (£84.4million) but has made just 52 appearances in the two-and-a-half seasons since.
Chelsea would be open to the idea of re-signing the man who won two Premier League and two Europa League titles for the Blues over his seven-year spell, according to El Nacional.
Newcastle United are also thought to be interested in making the forward their first marquee signing of the new Saudi Arabian regime at St. James’ Park.
Now, the manager of Los Blancos has admitted that Hazard is currently behind others in the Madrid pecking order, potentially paving the way for his departure.
“He [Hazard] can play 4-3-3 on the left or 4-4-2 above or behind the striker,” Ancelotti told a pres conference on Tuesday, via our sister site the Express
“He is ready to play, but the problem is that there is a coach who prefers another player.
“He does not have a star status at Madrid because he has had many injuries, and little by little, he will have his best version.
“I am sure that this season we will see his best version and that he will play more than he is doing now.
“Hazard has it. Everything: quality, motivation. He has to endure, what happens is that sometimes the coach prefers other players.”
Recently, the Italian has been starting with a front three of Vinicius Junior, Karim Benzema and Marco Asensio or Rodrygo, with Hazard largely limited to cameo appearances.
In the recent El Clasico, he did not even make it onto the field in the 2-1 victory over bitter rivals Barcelona.
It appears that Ancelotti has no great fondness for Hazard as a player and given his large wages, the manager seems like he could be the one to eventually push him towards the exit.