Mourinho-whisperer Duncan Castles, writing for The Times, frames this story in the context of “Eden Hazard asking to leave” Chelsea, but we know that isn’t exactly correct despite the renewed deluge of rumors, mainly from the usual Spanish sources, about a potential Real Madrid transfer.
While Eden did say it “might be” time for a change, he also admitted that the decision is Chelsea’s in the end. Meanwhile, claims of a weekend meeting had been debunked, and although Castles also claims that Real think they can secure Hazard at a “significant discount” (which is in line with some of the bolder rumors), Chelsea’s asking price of £200m+ plus seems firm, as is the club’s reported strong belief that Hazard will not be sold this summer. He has two years left on his contract and while ideally that gets extended, if worst comes to worst, he will simply play on and we’ll revisit the issue next summer.
But speaking of asking prices, one potential replacement for Hazard (or reinforcement, if we were to be so bold) could be Anthony Martial. José Mourinho is “open to selling” the wing-forward, but Manchester United have slapped a €100m price tag on him, which neither Chelsea nor Bayern, the two teams linked, are willing to meet.
It’s tough to tell what’s a reasonable price in today’s transfer market when goalkeepers are going for €75m, but €100m still seems rather much, especially with Martial’s contract having but 12 months to run. United do have a one-year option on it apparently, so maybe that’s not such a big consideration.
In any case, while Martial would be an interesting addition to the squad, especially if Eden stays as well, a deal is unlikely to be done at that price. But this is Silly Season, and strange things often happen in Silly Season. Willian, for example, could finance more than half that fee if Chelsea were to accept Barcelona’s latest report offer...