Premier League 2018-10: What does Pulisic's transfer to Chelsea entail for Hazard and Real Madrid?
The arrival of Christian Pulisic to Chelsea is being viewed by many as the club preparing for a life without Eden Hazard, rather than the addition of a player to play alongside the Belgian. The 27-year-old Hazard has 18 months to run on his existing deal at Stamford Bridge, and is stalling on signing fresh terms as he’s unsure over a move to Real Madrid.
Real Madrid currently sit 7 points behind FC Barcelona, and it seems unlikely that they would be putting up a serious fight for the LaLiga title this season. It is expected that Real Madrid would enter the summer transfer window all guns blazing, and will be in pursuit of big names.
After losing Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus, Real Madrid failed to replace him with someone who could lead their front line. And their lackluster performances are a stark indication of what they have been missing all season.
The LaLiga giants have tracked Hazard for years, and the Belgian has admitted he’s torn between staying at Chelsea and joining his dream club in Madrid. Hazard on various occasions has openly admitted his desire to play for the Los Blancos, and has made it evident that the only stadium he would switch Stamford Bridge for is the Santiago Bernabeu.
He once said: "If I play for Real Madrid, I will be very happy. If I never play for Real Madrid, it is because it is not allowed. And then I will be happy at Chelsea.”
Hazard is one of the hottest prospects open to a transfer, and Madrid desperately need an overhaul. Since Hazard has just 18 months left on his contract, Chelsea may be forced to offload him in the summer as it would be their last chance to cash in on him; otherwise, they would risk losing him on a free transfer in 2020.
As per reports there is a slim chance Hazard could yet ink a new contract. Chelsea’s best hope of keeping their star man is to hope Los Blancos don’t come in for him at all, and instead focus on alternative targets.
The tensions in the Chelsea camp are increasing, and everyone including the manager Maurizio Sarri has asked Hazard to make an informed decision. After Pulisic's signing Sarri had stated: "I don't know [if he will stay] but I think it's time to decide. I have not the power to do this. I am the coach, not the president, I'm not in charge of the market. I want to speak to him only about the position on the pitch. I think we have to solve the problem if we want to [plan for] the future. We have to solve this problem."
It will be quite interesting to see how Real Madrid look at this situation, and whether they go chasing a man who is currently one of the finest players in the world. Madrid have already lured in a series of talented youngsters thus securing their future, but what they currently need is an established name, and Eden Hazard definitely fits that bill.
Modified 20 Dec 2019, 20:48 IST