In Focus: Eden Hazard exit unlikely despite Antonio Conte comments

According to reports in The Mirror, Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has said that he would be powerless to stop the club selling Eden Hazard.

What’s the word, then?

Well, The Mirror says that speculation is growing over the future of the Belgium international – who missed the Community Shield defeat to Arsenal on Sunday because of injury – who is on the radar of Real Madrid.

The Mirror adds that Barcelona could show an interest in the 26-year-old after selling Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain for £199m and Blues boss Conte says it would out of his hands if the Premier League holders decide to cash in on the impressive forward.

What did he say?

Prior to the Community Shield defeat, Conte was asked how much the Belgian would be worth and he replied: “I expect Eden to play with Chelsea. But I wouldn’t know a value.

“I have great consideration for this player. He is a top player. But I’m the coach. I can give my opinion but the final decision is with the club.”

How good was Hazard last season?

Having won the PFA Player of the Year award in 2015, the Belgian suffered a disappointing 2015/16 campaign but he was back to his best last season as Chelsea regained the Premier League title they lost to Leicester City in 2016.

The 26-year-old scored 16 goals and provided a further five assists in 36 top flight appearances as the Blues cruised to the trophy.

Will Real Madrid or Barcelona bid before the window closes?

While the former look unlikely to submit a huge bid for Hazard this summer, Barcelona could certainly be a dark horse as they look to replace Neymar with a big-money signing that can perform on a consistent basis alongside Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi.

Would the club really consider letting him go?

It seems unlikely.

Chelsea already look set to be out with Diego Costa this season and taking Hazard out of that team too would dent their chances of retaining their Premier League title and make a significant impact on their return to the group stages of the Champions League.

In addition, they would need to replace the Belgian with a top-class addition and they are running out of time to do that with the summer transfer window closing at the end of this month.