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Carlo Ancelotti opens the door for Eden Hazard exit at Real Madrid

Back to the Premier League?

Elche CF v Real Madrid CF - LaLiga Santander Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Eden Hazard, once a most coveted transfer target, has become rather unwanted at Real Madrid, and it’s become quite evident that they are actively trying to offload him — perhaps as early as January itself to save on his mammoth weekly wages (€400k, reportedly). In fairness, Hazard’s on-field performances have been a far cry from the sky-high expectations that were placed on him, with his incessant injuries and carefree habits dominating the headlines.

While the writing has been on the wall for quite some time, current Real Madrid (and former Chelsea) manager Carlo Ancelotti has now publicly confirmed that he wouldn’t stand in Hazard’s way should he decide to leave — which is a nice way of saying “there’s the door, Eden”.

“It is clear that we have to take into account the thinking of each player in general. Never in my coaching career have I forced a player who wants to leave to stay. If you want to leave, you have to leave.”

-Carlo Ancelotti; source: Mundo Deportivo via Google Translate

A return to the Premier League could be a likely course of action for Hazard, with both Newcastle United and Chelsea linked recently.

Newcastle make much more sense from both a sporting and a financial perspective — they would be getting a still-marketable superstar, while their new owners are more than capable of funding the move. Hazard himself would be more suited to playing in an environment where the pressure and expectations are low(er), and he can (presumably) resurrect his old self and be a protagonist in his team’s attacking line.

The links with Chelsea appear to be born of nostalgia due to Hazard’s (glorious) history with the club, but apart from a wishful fantasy, it makes little sense for all parties involved.