In Focus: Conte cannot afford to lose Chelsea star Hazard to Real Madrid

Chelsea star Eden Hazard is open to joining Real Madrid, but only if he is guaranteed first-team football, according to Don Balon.

What’s the story?

It is rare for the Belgian not to be linked to the Spanish giants when a transfer window is around the corner.

The latest development in the saga comes from Don Balon, which reports that Hazard could move to the Bernabeu, but on one condition.

It is believed that the 26-year-old wants to be guaranteed first-team football from manager Zinedine Zidane before signing on the dotted line.

Hazard has made 13 appearances in all competitions this season after recovering from ankle surgery, and has scored three goals and created two assists in that time.

How would this affect Conte?

The Italian did not have the summer transfer window that he would have hoped for.

The club’s strategy led to reports that the ex-Juventus boss could be on his way out of Stamford Bridge, but he dispelled the rumours by signing a new two-year deal.

Chelsea’s chances of retaining the Premier League title have taken a hit as they currently reside nine points adrift of unbeaten leaders Manchester City.

Losing Hazard would massively deplete the squad, and it could play a pivotal role in whether Conte continues on as manager, such is the midfielder’s importance.

The Blues were criticised in the summer for allowing Nemanja Matic to join rivals Manchester United, and Conte does not want to find himself in a similar position.