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No meeting with, no transfer (yet) to Real Madrid for Eden Hazard — reports

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No Hazard for you! Come back, one year. Or better yet, never.

Chelsea v Manchester United - The Emirates FA Cup Final

Classic Oracles may have foretold the fall of King Leonidas, or at least used clever wordplay to ensure that they were always right (“go, return, not die in war” vs. “go, return not, die in war”). Modern Oracles are a bit more fallible, even when their powers are combined into a single rumor.

Both Di Marzio and Pedullà divined that Hazard’s “entourage” would be meeting with Real Madrid this weekend, but it turns out that was all a ruse. Here’s Simon “Xerxes” Johnson with the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

While no one’s ever 100 per cent correct, it sure seems that the usual tall-tale-spinners were simply spinning their tall tales.

And no one spins them like the Spanish media of course.

For now, the real Eden Hazard remains on vacation, and presumably isn’t too worried about his future. Chelsea have set a minimum asking price (£200m+), but Real Madrid have not come close to matching that in any rumor so far, and they certainly have not submitted (or even reported to have submitted) any actual bids. As ever, this rumor lives mostly on the backpages and the Twitterverse.

If Hazard takes the full three weeks that’s been granted to other World Cup participants by Chelsea, he won’t be back until the last week of preseason and just the final few days of the Premier League’s transfer window. While technically he could still move to Spain through the end of August (their transfer window closes at the usual time), Chelsea won’t be able to acquire a replacement after August 9. The compressed timeframe, the positive developments at the coaching position, Chelsea’s renewed ambition in the transfer market, Sarri’s intentions, Fabregas’s pleadings, even Hazard himself saying “might” instead of “will” or “want” ... just about everything other than the constant rumors, now going on six years, point to Hazard continuing at Chelsea.

For at least one more year.