Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri was last night questioned on whether he feels as though his side securing Champions League football for next season could have an effect on Eden Hazard’s decision to depart the club.
Real’s Hazard pursuit
The links between Chelsea star man Hazard and Spanish giants Real Madrid have been circulating for several years now.
Los Blancos are known to be keen admirers of Hazard’s talents, with the 28-year-old’s development into one of the finest attackers in world football having seen Chelsea reportedly forced to knock back a number of bids from the soon-to-be dethroned European champions last summer.
Real, for their part, though, have seemingly not been deterred by the stubbornness of the Blues.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure for Juventus last summer, coupled with the capital outfit’s dismal campaign to this point, have seen reports mount throughout the season that another big-money bid for Hazard will be forthcoming on the part of Real at the end of the season.
‘Football needs Zidane’
And, on the back of Zinedine Zidane’s return to the hotseat at the Bernabeu in March, rumours surrounding the interest of Los Merengues in Hazard’s services have since moved up a further notch.
The Chelsea standout himself, meanwhile, has done little to play down the links between he and Real, with Hazard having continually heaped praise on Blancos’ boss Zidane when presented with the opportunity of late:
‘I am not a Real Madrid player. But as a supporter of Zidane, I was very happy that he came back because football needs Zidane. For Real it is good. For the supporters of Real it is good.’
As such, on the back of claims that the Belgian is ‘on the verge’ of agreeing personal terms with Real, Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri was last night once again questioned on the future of his side’s talisman.
Specifically, the Italian tactician was asked whether he feels as though Chelsea securing qualification for next season’s Champions League last weekend could have a direct influence on Hazard’s decision regarding his future:
‘I don’t know. If Hazard is thinking that the history here is finished, then in his mind it is finished. I can try to speak to him but it is not easy. It’s not easy because of course, I want Hazard, but I want Hazard with a very high level of motivation.’
‘As you know you have to ask the club because I am not in control of the market. I am not in charge of the renewal of the contract so I am not able to answer. I can only speak to the player but like a father, not like a manager.’
‘Also if I speak to him, I will not tell you anything. It’s a discussion between a father and a son.’
Quotes via Goal