Reports: Chelsea superstar to stall on new contract
A nightmare for Chelsea?
What’s the rumour?
As per latest reports from The Daily Mail, Chelsea's talisman Eden Hazard is reportedly stalling on a new contract at the club, hoping Real Madrid will come calling for him. The Belgian is said to have become increasingly frustrated at being asked to play in a more central role and is believed to be waiting for Madrid to make a concrete offer.
In case you didn’t know...
Since his arrival in England in 2012, Hazard has taken the Premier League by storm. He became Chelsea's go-to man in a very short time and was a central figure in both of their domestic league winning campaigns since.
He has scored 87 times for the Blues in 287 games, and was voted the PFA Young Player of the Year in 2013-14 and the Premier League Player of the Season in 2014-15. He is primarily a left winger who likes to cut inside, beat players and has a penchant for the spectacular.
This season though, Conte has often deployed him as a false 9 in a more central role. This has infuriated Hazard and has caused him to even subtly criticise Conte's tactics, as per reports from Sky Sports.
The heart of the matter
Real Madrid and Zinedine Zidane have had a long-standing interest in the Belgian and he is rumoured by many to be the next "Galactico". Madrid seriously need reinforcements after a meek title defence this term and their star players are becoming inconsistent of late.
A major summer revamp is rumoured to take place and Hazard may well be the first name on their shopping list.
Hazard is becoming increasingly frustrated at Chelsea and even though they have offered him a new deal, he is in no rush to sign it. They now sit five points behind fourth-placed Tottenham and need to go to Camp Nou for the second leg of the UEFA Champions League Round of 16.
Hazard is undoubtedly their best player and Conte needs to play to his strengths if they want to finish this season on a high.
The player has a contract till 2020 and nothing less than a £100 million might be enough to prise him away from Chelsea.
Rumour rating/probability - 9/10
Over the past couple of months, pretty much every media outlet has linked Hazard with a move to Madrid. This suggests that we are not very far away from the truth and Chelsea may find themselves in a difficult situation if Real Madrid actually do come calling for the Belgian.
What a sensational footballer, eh?
Hazard is an incredibly gifted playmaker, capable of playing on either flank and is someone who is capable of changing the pace of a match on his own. It is common sense to keep hold of such an asset but Chelsea find themselves in an extremely complicated situation here.
Antonio Conte, himself, looks set to be going towards the exit door and they would not want to lose their best player too.
Madrid, on the other hand, need someone who can turn them into potential title winners next season and Hazard fits the bill. It's a big if, but, if Madrid decide to sign Hazard, Chelsea may be helpless and could have to let him go.