Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has admitted he has “always appreciated” the talents of Chelsea star Eden Hazard.
The Blues playmaker has been regularly linked with a move to Spain with Madrid reportedly admiring the Belgian international for quite some time.
Zidane and Hazard united? Five things you need to know…
- Hazard joined Chelsea in 2012 from Ligue 1 side Lille for a transfer fee of £32 million.
- In total the Belgian has made 341 appearances for the Blues, scoring 106 goals.
- The 28-year-old’s contract expires at the end of the 2019/20 season.
- Madrid are reportedly interested in bringing the playmaker to Spain this summer.
- Hazard has previously commented on his future, telling reporters that he has “already made a decision” over his future.
Zidane – who recently returned to management for his second stint in charge of Madrid – spoke to reporters about a potential move for the Chelsea star.
The Frenchman didn’t want to disclose too much information but couldn’t help admitting that he has always appreciated the player from afar and thinks Hazard is “fantastic”.
Zidane said: “I will not give my personal opinion about what may happen because the season has not ended.
“I’ve always appreciated him, I’ve seen him a lot since I was playing in France, he is fantastic.”
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Hazard out, Hudson-Odoi in?
With Hazard doing nothing to dampen the rumours circulating around his potential exit from the club, and Chelsea unwilling to risk letting the player leave the club for free at the end of his contract next season, the Belgian is likely to leave Stamford Bridge this summer.
Seven seasons in west London have seen Hazard not only develop into a world-class talent but also undoubtedly into a Chelsea legend. Two Premier League titles, a Europa League triumph and one FA Cup and League Cup apiece, Hazard’s time in England has been a major success.
But perhaps it is time for the new guard to come in and showcase what they can do in the famous blue strip, with England international and promising winger Callum Hudson-Odoi a likely contender to fill the talented boots Hazard will vacate upon his likely departure to Spain.
Maurizio Sarri has been reluctant to utilise the obvious talents of Hudson-Odoi this season but with Hazard potentially out the frame and with Chelsea’s transfer ban – lasting until the end of the 2019/20 season – the Italian may have no choice but to give the Blues fans what they want.
A huge profit on Hazard – a player who hasn’t hidden his excitement for a potential exit – after years of success in exchange for one of England’s most exciting prospects could be a good deal for the Premier League side.