Chelsea have reportedly initiated informal talks with Real Madrid over re-signing Eden Hazard next summer.
Eden Hazard, 30, left Chelsea to join Real Madrid in the summer of 2019 but has failed to live up to lofty expectations in Spain, mainly due to injury troubles. Real president Florentino Perez is keen to get rid of the Belgian playmaker, trying to recoup as much of the €115 million they spent two years ago to sign him from the Premier League club.
According to Catalan outlet El Nacional, Chelsea have explored the possibility of bringing Eden Hazard back and the Real Madrid winger would be open to a return in 2022. However, as Chelsea would be unwilling to pay more than €40 million for the Belgian international, Real Madrid want Chelsea right-back Reece James as part of the deal as well.
Reece James, 21, is one of the Blues’ key players, having come through the academy and been a prominent first-team figure since enjoying his breakthrough campaign in the 2019/20 season. The report adds Real boss Carlo Ancelotti is very fond of the England international and wants to sign him.
Contracted at Stamford Bridge until 2025, Chelsea have no intentions whatsoever to part ways with James, who is currently out injured.
Eden Hazard in exchange for Reece James plus cash—Should Chelsea consider this deal?
Eden Hazard became one of the world’s best players at Chelsea, untouchable on his day with his incisive passing, exquisite dribbling skills and sharp movement. However, a move to Real Madrid hasn’t worked at all, with the 30-year-old playmaker suffering injury problems and not yet returning to his best even after recovering.
As far as Chelsea are concerned, Thomas Tuchel has got an array of quality attacking options at his disposal. The big-money signing of Romelu Lukaku from Inter Milan in the summer has significantly boosted the Blues’ attack, which already had the likes of Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, Christian Pulisic, Hakim Ziyech, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Mason Mount.
Tuchel, if required, may go for another forward next year but Hazard, though an established and household name in European football, won’t necessarily be the best choice for the Blues. Hazard is set to turn 31 in January and while Chelsea might still manage to get a couple of good seasons out of the Belgian star, he is at a stage in his career where his powers will be on the wane very soon.
Add to the Real Madrid winger’s injury problems in recent years, the European champions’ idea to bring back Hazard doesn’t make sense at all. Moreover, there’s no point in giving up on James—one of Chelsea’s promising young guns destined for a big future ahead.
Keeping all the aforementioned factors in mind, Chelsea would be better off staying away from Hazard in order to ensure stability in their ranks for the foreseeable future.