The World Cup and its welcome distractions and festivities are finally over. It’s time to get back to club-business, and no business is more pressing than Eden Hazard’s future.
Paco Gonzalez, a journalist who is supposedly close to Real Madrid, has claimed on Radio COPE’s Tiempo de Juego that the only way Eden Hazard will be allowed to leave Chelsea is if he hands in a transfer request and forces the move through.
(II) NOTICIA PACO GONZÁLEZ en @tjcope:— Tiempo de Juego (@tjcope) July 15, 2018
️➡️"El @ChelseaFC cierra la puerta a Hazard, recordándole que le habían dado hasta abril de fecha límite para comunicarles si quería salir del club londinense. Le quedaría el Transfert Request como única opción viable para salir". pic.twitter.com/KvBFfryhM9
The report states that Chelsea have “closed the door” regarding a potential transfer to Real Madrid for Hazard, as apparently we had given him until the end of April to communicate his decision to leave, if he wanted to do so. And since no such indication was made by Hazard before the designated deadline, Chelsea have gone on to close that route, making an outright transfer request by Eden the only possible way through he might be allowed to leave the club.
It’s an obvious and quite understandable move from Chelsea, putting the onus on Hazard to push for the transfer, both from a PR and fan rapport perspective, as well as from a market perspective. The transfer window closes on August 9 for Chelsea, and while Hazard could leave after that still for Madrid (the Spanish window only closes at the traditional end of month deadline), Chelsea would be unable to acquire any replacements. With less than a month left for Chelsea, replacing Hazard would be an even harder task than under normal circumstances. There is no time for uncertainties. If Hazard wants to leave, he needs to make up his mind and say so.
Combine those factors with Chelsea’s reported £200m+ asking price and that Real have apparently yet to even make an actual offer, and it appears that Hazard’s immediate future is not really in jeopardy. His long-term future might play a role, but that’s where the contract extension comes into play.