Aston Villa are reportedly eyeing a move for Real Madrid flop Eden Hazard ahead of the January transfer window but it could be a repeat of their Philippe Coutinho disaster.
According to reports in Spain, the Villans have identified the former Chelsea star as a potential marquee signing in the January window, as Unai Emery looks to build on a promising start to life at Villa Park.
The Spaniard has won both of his league games in charge at his new club to distance the Midlands side from the relegation places but, after so much investment in the summer, a top-half finish should be the minimum aim.
While signing someone of Hazard’s talent would have been inconceivable just a few years ago, the 31-year-old has clearly declined since swapping Stamford Bridge for the Santiago Bernabeu, and it would surely prove to be another expensive risk by the Villa board.
The Belgium international earns a staggering £525k-per-week with Real Madrid, so while any potential transfer fee for the ageing winger might be cheap, his wages are certain to take a chunk out of Villa’s budget.
During his time with Los Blancos, Hazard has made just 72 appearances in three and a half campaigns, managing seven goals and 11 assists in that time, which included no goals in 18 La Liga appearances last season.
Carlo Ancelotti has utilised the tricky winger just three times in La Liga in the current term, which suggests that he is surplus to requirements and could be on the move in the January window.
Spanish media have certainly not been impressed with Hazard since his eye-watering £150m switch in 2019, with reports labelling him “overweight” after he was spotted laughing with his former teammates after a Champions League defeat against Chelsea in 2021.
There are certainly shades of Villa’s signing of Coutinho with the Hazard rumours, as, like the Belgian, he moved to a Spanish giant for a huge fee before ultimately failing to live up to the high expectations.
While he looked promising at first for his new club, he has failed to register a single goal or assist in any of his appearances this season, with it now likely that he will spend the remainder of his Villa career rotting on the bench.
Therefore, signing Hazard would be a very high-risk transfer given his age and lack of recent game time, so the Villans must avoid the Belgian at all costs.