After his electrifying 2014-15 season, rumours that Eden Hazard was on Real Madrid’s radar were rife.
The Belgian was named PFA Player of the Year after helping Chelsea to a Premier League and League Cup double. He was simply unplayable at times two seasons ago and it was no surprise to hear the links to Los Blancos.
But those reports died down a year later as Hazard endured a difficult 2015-16 season.
He was dropped by Jose Mourinho in October and had to wait until April to notch his first league goal.
Of course, Hazard’s name will forever be linked to Mourinho’s sacking. Remember the banner that referred to him, Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa as “rats”?
The former Lille star attributed his struggles to tiredness and a small injury.
“Why was it bad? I think it was because I was tired,” he said last July, via the Evening Standard.
"Even when I am not at the maximum level I want to play well, but last season was difficult.
"I was injured, not a big one, but it was not easy to play with a small injury when you play in England because the game is very difficult.”
Hazard is back to his best
A new manager and renewed focus has seen Hazard return to his frightening best this season. The 26-year-old is playing some superb football under Antonio Conte and, naturally, those rumours to Madrid have reemerged.
With 10 goals and four assists this term, there’s no doubting that Hazard is among the Premier League’s elite players. And if Madrid do come calling, it’s hard to image Hazard saying no.
What Hazard makes of Madrid rumours
According to Spanish radio station Cadena Cope, the Belgium international would be “delighted” to work with Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane.
Two conditions must be met
There are two conditions that need to be met before Madrid make a move for the Chelsea winger; if Isco doesn’t renew his contract and James Rodriguez departs, then Zidane will look to replace them with Hazard.
Hazard wants to leave Stamford Bridge on a high
Hazard outlined the criteria he hoped to meet before he leaves Chelsea last year; he wants to go out on a high.
"When I was in France, I finished my last game (at Lille) with a hat-trick and it was a good time to leave,” Hazard said.
“And if I must leave (Chelsea) one day, I hope I can finish good here and be a champion again.”
With Chelsea on course to win the title in May, Hazard could well consider it mission accomplished.
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