Chelsea must accept a huge offer for struggling superstar Eden Hazard if Barcelona or Real Madrid come calling at the end of the season.
The Belgian, who was the standout performer in the Blues side that eased to the Premier League title last year, was dropped to the bench for his side’s 2-1 win over Dynamo Kiev in the Champions League.
Much of the scepticism over Chelsea’s terrible form has fallen on the shoulders of manager Jose Mourinho, but the way Stamford Bridge serenaded him on Wednesday night suggests the fans are behind the manager rather than the club’s poster boy.
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And, with Madrid and Barcelona reportedly monitoring ongoings, if Mourinho is to remain in the capital for the long term it may involve selling Hazard to either of the La Liga heavyweights.
Whilst no Chelsea player has reached the same levels as last year, Hazard’s slump in form has been particularly alarming given how reliant the Blues were on his performances 12 months ago.
Diego Costa, Cesc Fabregas and Nemanja Matic all enjoyed impressive individual campaigns, but it was their wing wonder who propelled the Londoners to the league title and Capital One Cup.
Hazard was magnificent and established himself as the chief attacking threat in the whole division. No player created more chances and completed more dribbles than the former Lille prodigy who spearheaded the assist charts in May.
This year it has been a different story. The number of assists has dropped from 11 to just two, with the 24-year-old now facing an uphill battle to force his way back into Mourinho’s starting 11.
Whilst Manchester United have been linked with an audacious swoop for Hazard, Mourinho would be more inclined to sell the Belgian to either of La Liga’s biggest clubs.
Real Madrid would be favourites given the fact the jury remains out on Gareth Bale, with recent reports also speculating that Cristiano Ronaldo is tickling the fancy of Paris Saint-Germain.
He only signed a mammoth new contract with the Londoners back in February, but rumours suggest that his relationship with Mourinho is deteriorating to the point of no return.
It could mean one departs before the other. Whilst Hazard may be a firm fan favourite, Mourinho is the one Blues supporters would rather stay around for the long haul.