Eden Hazard To Barcelona? Catalans Make Shock Move To Land Chelsea Star Ahead Of Real Madrid
The Belgium skipper has been linked with Real Madrid but it is their eternal rivals who have made initial contact.
Barcelona have made the first move for Eden Hazard, in a bid to pinch the Chelsea star from under the nose of rivals Real Madrid.
Hazard, 27, has been linked with a £150million switch to the Santiago Bernabeu, as the European champions look for a marquee name to replace Cristiano Ronaldo.
But Hazard is not their top target and their has been no offer forthcoming, with Florentino Perez preferring Neymar – of whom Madrid have not hid their admiration – and also his Paris Saint-Germain teammate Kylian Mbappe.
Now, as Madrid decide on what to do in the wake of Ronaldo’s shock switch to Juventus, Barcelona have sought to step in with their own move for Hazard, as they seek to add another star to their own much-vaunted attack.
The Blaugrana had hoped to sign Antoine Griezmann this summer, but the France ace elected instead to remain with Atletico Madrid.
Another Chelsea player, Willian, has been heavily linked as a potential target.
But now reports, both in Belgium and Spain, claim that they have made contact with Hazard’s entourage to sniff out whether he would be interested in a move to Camp Nou.
Hazard’s wage demands wouldn’t be a problem and after six years at Chelsea – where he has won everything except the Champions League – he may well jump at the chance of a new challenge.
His future at Stamford Bridge has been in serious question after the club’s failure to reach the Champions League, and the fact he has just two years left on his contract.
Talks over a new deal have been protracted and dragged out, as they have with his compatriot, Thibaut Courtois.
Hazard told Mirror Sport in January that the pair would both be signing contract extensions, however amid the club’s chaotic managerial situation, neither deal has come to fruition.
Barcelona have spent heavily in the last 12 months, albeit deals to sign Ousmane Dembele and Philippe Coutinho were offset by Neymar’s exit to PSG; Arthur Melo’s signing to bolster midfield was similarly financed by Paulinho’s return to China after one season. They would find Chelsea reluctant to sell their undoubted star man however.
New Barcelona technical secretary Eric Abidal was asked about signing Hazard at the presentation of Brazil midfielder Arthur earlier this week.
The Frenchman coyly responded: “We do not talk about players that aren’t ours. This question has to be directed to the player, as, when we sign someone, you will be the first to know when we are.
“It’s up to the player to ask if he wants to join FC Barcelona. For the moment, we are here for Arthur.”