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The inevitable Kovačić-Hazard swap rumor, now with bonus Isco

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Rumors getting creative, or not

It’s almost surprising it took half a season for this rumor to materialize. Perhaps it’s a sign that, as he’s hinted after last night’s match, Eden Hazard is now trending towards staying at Chelsea instead of leaving us for Real Madrid. The appeal of Real Madrid was enough to fuel the rumors up to this point, now they need some substance, so to speak.

Not that the inclusion of other players should be taken as this rumor having any legs. This complicated mess is likely still nothing more than idle speculation from the usual idle speculators — Onda Cero this time, picked up by others in the last 24 hours (here’s Sport Witness’ take on it) — combining the usual Hazard story, the recent comments from Mateo Kovačić (wherein he makes it clear he wants to stay at Chelsea beyond this season), and the previous rumors regarding Isco, who’s fallen out of favor for some reason in Madrid under new head coach Santiago Solari.

In fairness, if Hazard were to push for a move, getting two quality (and slightly younger) players in return may not be the worst outcome. But Chelsea could very well sign Kovačić and/or Isco on their own if we so decided, though certainly in the latter’s case, there may little value in doing so (should be looking towards younger players with better future value, such as Hazard — and Oscar and the like — back in 2012).

And, more importantly, Hazard isn’t pushing for a move. He’s happy at Chelsea, happy with Sarri, happy even to play center forward / false-nine / call it what you will. He seems happy enough with the ambition shown by the club, and if we finish top four, surely there’s no reason for him to not cement his legendary status at Stamford Bridge by signing the new contract.

P.S.: Here’s Eden giving his shirt away after scoring both goals in Chelsea’s 2-1 win over Watford. What a guy!