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Chelsea forward Eden Hazard’s farther recently revealed the Belgium international turned down a new contract with Chelsea to see whether Real Madrid might make an approach for him in January.
The Los Blancos have been linked with him for years without ever making an official approach. The La Liga giants have not ruled him out of their transfer plan yet. There are several reasons the club might reignite interest in him again.
Hazard who turns 27 during the January transfer window is pretty much the new 30 in the new youth-oriented game. The Belgian’s at his peak, if not already sliding downhill side of his career. Real’s president Florentino Perez would be paying for a diminishing return.
The Champions League winner has been more consistent in its recent transfer dealings, deciding to move in for youth, meaning a 27-year-old might be too old for their current plans. When Real last signed a Premier League player, he had just turned 24. Gareth Bale represented great resale value and years ahead in which to develop. The same held true for Cristiano Ronaldo before him, both in age and prospects. Real Madrid also recently signed 17-year-old Vinícius Júnior, and have opted for much younger players like Theo Hernandez and Dani Ceballos.
His dream for Real Madrid might be too late.
Coming off a horrible season, the ex-Lille forward has netted just five goals in 17 appearances this season, including a run of seven games across all competitions without a goal. Zinedine Zidane has seen enough of that from his players and won’t be looking to move in for another player in same form anymore. Although, stats as collated by Whoscored shows Hazard has been more influential than Real’s front trio who earned a Whoscored rating of 7.64 his efforts, so it will be fascinating to see what sort of special plans the Belgian has to offer in the La Liga for Madrid.
Overall, has scored only 80 goals in 274 appearances. Madrid wants more, typically close to a player scoring in every match. The Belgian hasn’t scored more than 16 in 38 Premier League matches. Ronaldo’s 18 goals in 33 matches for Manchester United 2008/09 proves a poor season after the Portuguese’s 31 in 34 matches during the prior season. If Hazard is to be Ronaldo’s successor at Bernabeu, he will have to take his game to another level.
Reports suggest Hazard might cost Real Madrid a whopping £100 million, an amount the club have failed to spend in each of the last three seasons. Real are one of the biggest clubs in the world, but that doesn’t mean they should throw that type of money around whether one likes it or not. Although the club former president Ramon Calderon suggested the club would be happy to do so last March but the Spaniard changed his tune just two months later. Six figures is a threshold they will only cross for a world-class player and Hazard isn’t that worth the scuffle.
Cristiano Ronaldo looks far from finished in football. The Portugal international won the Ballon d’Or awards in consecutive years. After a poor start to the season, the Portuguese man began scoring goals in December. Ronaldo’s place at Bernabeu doesn’t look there is a need for a replacement yet. It will be a shocking turnaround if Real axes him. Under those circumstances, it’s difficult to see Real upgrading its attack in this window.
There are still many options left for the reigning Ballon d’Or winner. He could replace Karim Benzema inside, leaving a void on the flank, but we all know how Zidane has been extremely loyal to his struggling compatriot. It will be a shock to see Madrid axes Benzema. Under those circumstances, it’s difficult to see the club upgrading its attack in this window.
Hazard is no longer the La Liga giants’ number one choice, if other reports bears fruit. Neymar has been linked with a shocking move to the Bernabeu, a deal that wouldn’t have been possible had the Brazilian still been with Barcelona.
Neymar was heavily linked to Bernabeu when he made the switch from Santo to Barca. The club interest has not waned. Given how well Neymar performed before his £200 million switch from Camp Nou to Paris Saint-Germain – 168 games, 105 goals and 80 assists – it’s obvious why Real are looking to break the bank for him. Still, the Les Perisiens in full control both in Ligue 1 and Champions League, and the price the club owners will demand, such isn’t a deal meant for mid-season.
Then when? After the World Cup? Who knows? Plus, if PSG knock the UCL holders off in the Round of 16 but don’t make it to the finals, it’s possible Neymar could switch sides again, as he did after destroying Rouge-et-Bleu hopes last spring.
Finally, there is Hazard’s attitude. It’s worth remembering how the Belgian disappeared from Chelsea side while feuding with Jose Mourinho two seasons ago.
Madrid is a club that goes through manager like the rest of us go through socks daily. When in good health, Gareth Bale has played consistently for three different managers – Carlo Ancelotti, Rafael Benitez, and Zinedine Zidane – in four-plus seasons. One can add Jose Mourinho and Ancelotti to the manager list for Ronaldo and Benzema. Zidane, however, if he fails to get his struggling squad back on track after the break, there are chances a new boss may turn up. In such a scenario, the team must be filled with new bloods. For BBC trio, that’s of little concern as they have produced no matter who is in charge.
Knowing his club’s organizational history, though , would Florentino Perez be willing to part with a significant pile of cash for a fragile personality such as Hazard, who may fall apart after a managerial change? The smart money says no.