The Eden Hazard situation, as much as the rumor mill would have us believe otherwise, is probably not as precarious as it’s feared. Eden still has two years left on his contract, and unlike Thibaut Courtois, he doesn’t have a strong non-footballing reason to push for a switch. It’s tough to be certain of anything when it comes to the transfer market, but it would have to take something extraordinary in the first place for Chelsea to accept an offer from Real Madrid in the first place.
If Chelsea sources are to be believed, that would have to start with a world record transfer offer of more than £200m, which Real haven’t come close to matching in the pages of tabloids let alone in reality. In fact, even the usual pro-Madrid sources are veering away from such notions, with some hoping that a “bargain” can be engineered while others, like Cadena SER’s El Larguero (via Inside Futbol), going as far as to declare that Real Madrid will not break the bank for the Belgian star. They might break it for Neymar and Mbappé (two players they’ve publicly declared they are not going after), but not for Hazard. And that’s just fine and dandy by us.
If Real aren’t breaking the bank for any of the big stars they’ve been linked with, where are they looking to spend their money? Apparently they might be looking towards ... youth?
“Each season we know that we have to fight for everything, that is what our history demands of us. The last few years have been wonderful and our fans always want more. We will fight for them, looking for the best talent in the world. In this stadium are the 13 European Cups, which show us the way. We are aware that challenges are difficult but to conquer what seems impossible is what we want.
”Madrid are strengthening the search process for young players who may soon become the main stars of this sport. I said a few days ago that I was going to reinforce the squad with great players, [Alvaro] Odriozola is that and Vinicius also. We’ve been waiting for him for a long time because he conquered us with his dribbles and his plays, and now he’s here.”
-Florentino Perez; source: Marca
The Real Madrid president was speaking at Vinicius’s unveiling on Friday, so the occasion certainly lent itself to bold declarations about great future talents. Real spent €46m on the 18-year-old, and if Perez is serious about his new narrative, signs don’t get much clearer than that.
Where does that leave Hazard? Same place where he’s been for the last six years. Home, sweet home, Stamford Bridge.