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Barcelona media link, unlink club with Eden Hazard

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Just Silly Season things.

FC Barcelona v Chelsea FC - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: Second Leg Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Cristiano Ronaldo’s blockbuster move from Real Madrid to Juventus was expected to result in a fresh deluge of Eden Hazard-to-Real Madrid stories, but Real’s main rivals Barcelona appear to have stolen a beat on them, at least as far as the media rumor game is concerned.

While Madrid might prefer one of PSG duo Kylian Mbappe and Neymar, their six-year pursuit of Eden Hazard probably isn’t just going to go away overnight. In fact, it was already revived by reporters at the World Cup in the immediate wake of Cristiano’s decision. But it’s the Catalan giants who are really spinning the wheels of the rumor mill right now, with one of their local outlets linking the Chelsea star with the club and the other doing exactly the opposite.

Yesterday, Mundo Deportivo claimed that Barca are out of any sort of Eden Hazard sweepstakes due to an “unviable” combination of price, availability, and fit. Not only have they deemed Eden “too expensive”, they realized that he’s not exactly a like-for-like replacement for Andres Iniesta (who’s gone to retire in the J-League). Meanwhile, not-yet-head-coach Sarri has apparently already implored Chelsea to not sell him (same goes for Willian, too).

While at first glance it would seem that MD were answering a non-existent question — Hazard to Barcelona? When did that come about? — another local outlet, SPORT, conjured up a front page to emphatically put the question into the conversation.

SPORT claim that “Eden Hazard’s agents” started talks with Barca, and while Real are in the bidding as well, Hazard prefers the seaside rather than the center of the country. Barcelona of course might want to check just with whom they are negotiating since Eden Hazard is self-represented and doesn’t like it even when his own father tries to engineer things behind his back.

So, Eden to Barcelona is probably not something we should really be concerned about, certainly while the specter of Eden-to-Real Madrid hangs about.

To be sure, the only way to be sure, is to get him to sign that contract extension, talks for which should be starting at some point after Saturday’s third place match at the World Cup between Hazard’s Belgium and England.