There is a feeling that Chelsea are resigned to losing Eden Hazard to Real Madrid, according to journalist Sid Lowe.
The Belgian’s future has been one of the main talking points in 2018/19, with Madrid strongly linked with signing him at the end of the season.
Hazard has spent seven years at Chelsea, where there has often been endless speculation about a move away.
Speaking to ESPN FC, Lowe believes the situation is very different now, with the Blues only able to earn big money for him this summer and the player himself seemingly meriting a move away:
The nature of his contract – the fact that he is coming into the final year of it – puts a lot of power in his hands and in Real Madrid’s hands.
It means that they have a better and stronger position. They can go now and say ‘well, look, you can lose him for nothing, or you can sit down, you can take a worthwhile amount for him’.
How far Chelsea will go down this route, I don’t know.
But everybody at Chelsea knows that Hazard has wanted this to happen for a long time.
He, unlike some players, hasn’t pushed or agitated for a deal, and there is a sense that he sort of did things the right way.
The scenario is different, so this is a far more easy one to pull off [than Pogba to Real Madrid would be].
It is no hidden secret that Hazard’s idol growing up was Zinedine Zidane, who is now back at Real Madrid in his second stint as manager.
As Lowe mentions, Hazard has continued to give his all this season despite his head being turned, and it is difficult to begrudge him the move.
The 28-year-old will find out if he has won the PFA Player of the Year award on Thursday, although various reports claim the accolade will go to Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk.
Chelsea's top 5 players in the Premier League
Hazard has unquestionably become a modern Chelsea great, spending seven memorable years at Stamford Bridge. Few players in Europe are more gifted.
One of the best goalscoring midfielders in English football history, Lampard is also Chelsea’s top scorer of all time and was a model of unbelievable consistency.
A truly great captain and centre-back, Terry was the inspiration behind Chelsea’s dominance in the mid-2000s.
Chelsea’s finest striker of the Premier League era, Drogba was one of the best in the world in his prime, and famously scored the winning penalty in the 2012 Champions League final.
Zola was a genius of a footballer who often carried the Blues single-handedly before the Roman Abramovich era kicked in.
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