Eden Hazard hints at leaving Chelsea: 3 transfer destinations that make the most sense, plus the top odds to sign him
If the Belgian superstar leaves, where could he go?
Chelsea superstar Eden Hazard, who is having one of the best seasons of his career with the Premier League club, has hinted at a possible departure from the club in the near future. Hazard spoke out about his contract situation on Sunday prior to Chelsea's Europa League clash against PAOK on Thursday -- which can be streamed on fuboTV (Try for free) -- and had some interesting things to say about his future, while also willingly admitting he could stay with the Blues for the rest of his career. Here's what to know:
What did Hazard say?
In an interview with Canal Football Club, the 27-year-old said he is unlikely to leave in January but, "it's possible [that I could leave in the summer], as I repeat every time, but it's also possible I stay at Chelsea for my whole career.
"At the moment, as I have already said, I'm focusing on Chelsea this year. I have a year on my contract after this year. If there is no contract extension, of course [I could be sold]."
That sure sounds like Hazard hinting at possibly wanting a contract extension. Since his contract expires in the summer of 2019, it's unlikely he would begin next season with the Blues if he was out of contract the following summer. The club would risk losing him for nothing, and surely the club's leadership knows selling him would bring in a price of well over $100 million, though the preference has to be to keep him.
It remains to be seen if his next contract will make him the highest paid player on the roster over N'Golo Kante. If he is offered a bigger contract and doesn't accept, then the writing may be on the wall that he wants to leave Stamford Bridge.
If he does accept a deal, then that will end any speculation he is leaving, at least for a little while.
Where could he go?
In looking at the clubs that could afford him, there are probably only a handful. While clubs in England like Manchester United and Manchester City could pay the fee, it's hard to see Chelsea being willing to sell him to one of them. On top of that, Hazard had the choice to join any of the three from Lille back in 2012.
So while you can't rule out going to either Manchester club, it feels unlikely. That leaves only a handful of teams that have the roster space and the pocket change to invest in a player like Hazard.
He's familiar with the league having played for Lille, and this is a club that has made more of a splash in the transfer market than anyone over the last couple seasons. Financial Fair Play is always a cloud hanging over a big-spending team like PSG, but landing a whale like Hazard makes sense for a ton of reasons. Can you imagine if Edinson Cavani had Neymar, Hazard and Mbappe playing behind him? It would be hard to imagine any team getting in the way of that fearsome foursome and would solidify this team as the heavy favorite to win the Champions League. But doing so would likely require PSG to sell off some important players to balance the books.
Outside of a contract extension with Chelsea, this seems like the most probable destination. Real Madrid is struggling, and it just recently fired Julen Lopetegui and lost to Eibar this past weekend. He could follow his former teammate Thibaut Courtois and head to the Spanish capital, and he would be looked at as the star replacement in attack following Cristiano Ronaldo's departure to Juventus. The coaching instability of the club and the aging stars like Luke Modric and Sergio Ramos would give anyone second thoughts. He could be viewed as the man for the team and a new "Galactico," and we all know Real Madrid has the money to make that work, especially after getting over $100 million for Ronaldo.
This feels like kind of the dark horse team. Bayern isn't playing that well and is in fifth place in the Bundesliga. They having aging wingers in Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery, so it could be time to make a change. The funds are there for sure, and there is so much talent on the team that he could be a natural fit right behind or to the side of Robert Lewandowski. This one feels unlikely but a bit more possible than say Barcelona or Juventus. But it's hard to see this one happening.
What do the oddsmakers say?
Betfair has odds on who he will sign with before Feb. 1, 2019. And the options are to stay at Chelsea or to sign for Real Madrid, with staying at Chelsea being the favorite.
- Staying at Chelsea is 1/50
- Signing for Real Madrid is 9/1
When could we hear something?
Considering Kante just signed a contract extension with the club, it wouldn't be out of the question to hear something on this in the coming months, and if not, in the summer. But by the time summer rolls around, we could be hearing about an extension or a possible transfer if it takes that long.
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