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Real Madrid ‘within days’ of reaching Hazard agreement with Chelsea — report

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Or are they?

The Eden Hazard narrative has had enough of playing second fiddle to the Callum Hudson-Odoi narrative and is back in full effect tonight thanks to Marca’s front page blast that Real Madrid are “close to reaching an agreement” with Chelsea for Eden Hazard.

Then again, they’ve been close for seven years now.

Hazard’s move to Real Madrid is apparently expected to be sealed “in the coming days”, and Eden is expected in the Spanish capital “soon”.

What’s different this time? That bit is unclear. Marca claim that returning Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has given “his approval” of the transfer, even though Marca themselves reported just last week that Zidane was wanting to re-assess the squad before making any such drastic decisions. That man sure works fast!

Zidane did drop a line about Hazard in his pre-match press conference on Friday, which could easily serve as the catalyst.

“He’s a player I have always appreciated. He is fantastic. I will not give my personal opinion about what may happen because the season has not ended. He has played in France, I have watched him a lot and I know him personally.”

-Zinedine Zidane; source: BBC

Earlier reports claimed that Chelsea had rejected an opening offer from Real Madrid and were looking for at least €100m. Today’s report contains no price information, but does mention that Chelsea asked €200m last summer, which Real weren’t willing to pay. Chelsea will of course say that Hazard wasn’t going to be let go regardless of any bid then.

Will the situation be different this summer? It could very well be. Hazard has not made any false promises (unlike a certain international teammate of hissssss) and Chelsea have had plenty of time to prepare for this possibility (see: Christian Pulisic, in part). He has one year left on his contract and isn’t looking likely to sign the extension on offer.

That said, the most trusted source when it comes to such matters reports that the situation remains completely unchanged. But perhaps soon it won’t be.