Following Chelsea’s 4-1 victory in the Europa League final over Arsenal in Baku, comments from Belgian forward Eden Hazard regarding his future seemed to confirm the inevitable: Chelsea’s talisman was departing Stamford Bridge, and Real Madrid were his destination of choice.
Hazard, 28, has enjoyed a sensational seven years in West London, but to his own admission told club officials earlier this summer of his desire to challenge himself in a new league; notably La Liga with Spanish giants Madrid.
The Belgian seemed confident of his transfer being confirmed over the coming days, but the impending departure of Maurizio Sarri to Juventus has caused upheaval in the Stamford Bridge boardroom,
A growing reluctance has begun to surface towards sanctioning the sale of their key asset amidst such considerable managerial uncertainty, as reported by the Evening Standard.
Sarri, 60, has enjoyed considerable success in his first season in West London amidst a storm of criticism towards ‘Sarri-Ball’ – reaching the League Cup final, finishing third in the Premier League as well as winning his first trophy with victory over Arsenal in the Europa League final.
Yet that has not prevented the substantial underappreciation of his work causing a rethink over his future and the remaining two years on his contract. Sarri has his sights set on Juventus, and it would appear that Chelsea are set to lose their manager, their star player and all amidst a two-year transfer ban from FIFA.
These are testing times for the Premier League side, and if Hazard is unable to secure his dream move to Madrid owing to other complications within the club, this would mark a serious issue for any incoming manager given the Belgian’s insistence that, despite seven highly successful years with the club, his time is up in West London.