According to reports in The Times, Chelsea forward Eden Hazard is refusing to sign a new contract worth £300,000 a week in the hope of attracting an offer from Real Madrid.
Well, The Times says Hazard has joined Belgian teammate Thibaut Courtois in putting talks over a new deal on hold until the end of the season despite the fact that he has been offered a contract that would make him the highest-paid player in the west London outfit’s history.
The Times says that while the 26-year-old is happy at Stamford Bridge, he is so far reluctant to extend his current deal – which still has two-and-a-half years left to run on it – as it would affect his chances of joining Real in the future.
The report adds that while the La Liga giants have coveted the attacker for a long time, they didn’t make a formal bid last summer and the Blues are hoping that the man that wants him – Zinedine Zidane – is sacked at the end of the season to boost their chances of keeping their influential star.
Even though he perhaps hasn’t been as influential as he was last term so far during the current campaign – especially as he recovered from an ankle injury – the 26-year-old has still scored an impressive eight goals and provided a further six assists in 19 appearances in all competitions.
The Belgium international showed his importance in the 3-1 win against Newcastle United at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, when Antonio Conte’s side came from a goal down to pick up the three points with Hazard scoring a brace.
It’s difficult to say.
While Chelsea certainly won’t want to lose their attacking talisman if he is refusing to sign a new deal and they receive a huge offer from Real next summer, it could be too tempting to turn down – especially if the player says he wants to go.
Of course the Blues would have to make sure they were definitely getting a world-class replacement first, and it certainly won’t be easy to find someone of the Belgian’s quality.