Eden Hazard, the Prince of Stamford Bridge, the Dreamer of Real Madrid, the Eighth Best Player in the World, can’t — or won’t — make up his mind. Perched atop his fence, the grass looks green on all sides.
Chelsea are ready to pounce, quite literally the minute he comes off of the fence on the right side.
“I know very well that there are discussions between the club and the manager of Eden every week I think, so if there is something new, the club will call me immediately.
”Eden is very important for us, like every special player. He’s important for his club. I think the club is available to sign a new contract immediately, but it’s up to him if he wants to renew or not. I want Eden here, of course, but I want him here if he wants to stay here.”
-Maurizio Sarri; source: Evening Standard
The issue (probably) isn’t the money. N’Golo Kanté recently signed a club record deal for £290k a week. Hazard’s proposed wages are at least £300k, probably more. If he wants more, Chelsea are unlikely to balk.
The issue (probably) isn’t family or his general environment. By all accounts, Eden, his wife, and his kids are quite happy in London, and he says he’s quite happy to be playing for Chelsea these days as well, especially as he shares in Sarri’s footballing philosophy.
The issue is legacy. At 27 years of age, this is likely to be Eden’s last chance to fulfill his Madrid dream. If he stays, he’s a nailed-on Chelsea legend — and he’s already enjoying his position as a team leader (with or without the captain’s armband).
It’s a huge decision. Simon Johnson of the Evening Standard reports that Chelsea are confident he’ll sign and stay.
Make it so.