The big story of Wednesday that was making headlines across all of England and most of Europe as well was Torino-based sports daily Gazzetta dello Sport claiming that Eden Hazard “is ready” to sign his new Chelsea deal worth around €18million per year — which matches the familiar £300k per week offer from last year — and reject Real Madrid once and for all.
We’d love to believe this story.
But we can’t.
It doesn’t mesh with the publicly stated facts of the case from either side, nor does it make sense (as pointed out by Sport Witness) that such a big story (even for Italy) would be absent from the front page and instead buried in a footnote of a sidebar in a story that’s mostly about Luka Modric and Inter — i.e. if Hazard doesn’t sign for Madrid, apparently Modric isn’t going anywhere in a bit of typically nonsensical transfer rumor logic (they don’t even play the same position!).
Las muestras de afecto de Hazard hacia el Real Madrid parecen haber activado al Chelsea: ofrecen un sueldazo al belga— AS (@diarioas) October 17, 2018
Esto alejaría a Modric del Interhttps://t.co/DLxAouU9uq
And that’s before we get to Hazard’s repeated waffling and clearly stated indecision over the past few months, to Bruce Buck’s declaration of Chelsea’s strong intent to do anything and everything in our power (if Hazard was indeed ready to sign, Buck probably would’ve addressed the situation less directly or forcefully), to the understanding that while Hazard isn’t going anywhere in January (no Bale-Hazard swap as another random rumor claimed), his future beyond the end of the season won’t be decided for a while.
We’d like to believe that he’s “ready” to sign. But that would be a massive surprise, given how the situation has evolved since the end of the season.