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Insigne, Richarlison ‘earmarked’ as potential Eden Hazard replacements — report

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And so it begins

Chelsea v Watford - Premier League Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

The rumors used to be about whether or not Eden Hazard would leave Chelsea in any given transfer window.

Now the rumors are (set to be) about how to replace Eden Hazard in the next transfer window. His departure appears to be a given, his decision made, whatever it may be (but probably not to sign a contract extension).

It’s a transfer rumor party to end all transfer rumors parties and it already began with the Philippe Coutinho nonsense. But here comes the Mail with more reasonable options, namely Napoli’s Lorenzo Insigne and Everton’s Richarlison.

The former is a fairly new name in the Chelsea rumor mill, conspicuous by its absence thus far, in fact, despite Sarri’s arrival last summer. Perhaps that has something to do with his claimed £140m price tag, which may be just about as much as Chelsea could optimistically extract from Real Madrid for Hazard.

Richarlison is a far more reasonable option — in terms of price tag and availability, as well as age and future prospects (he’s still only 21 whereas Insigne’s 27 and only six months younger than Hazard) — and one who has been repeatedly linked with Chelsea. The ambitious young man could very well be convinced to ditch once again struggling Everton and join the building youth movement at Chelsea instead.

These certainly won’t be the last rumors floated — the Mail themselves also throw in Asensio (but no Isco), Jadon Sancho (LOL), Leon Bailey (who’s fallen away a bit this season) — and will surely build to a fever pitch the closer we get to the summer. Should be ... fun?