It has been a fantastic few weeks for Antonio Conte, and the Chelsea fans in the Transfer Tavern are glad that they have kept the faith. The Italian was under pressure earlier in the campaign after a tough start to the season, but he has bounced back magnificently. With progression into the last 16 of the Champions League secured and their Premier League form improving, the boss can do no wrong at present.
However, as is always the case, just as things were going well for Chelsea, they have hit a fork in the road, at least according to the Times. The Times are reporting that Eden Hazard has followed Thibaut Courtois in shelving contract talks with the club until the end of the season, with the Belgian reportedly keen to keep his options open – with a move to Real Madrid on his mind.
Hazard’s long-term future has remained consistently uncertain since moving to Stamford Bridge, but that’s no real surprise. He’s been arguably the standout Premier League player since he came to London, and his fine form this season is only going to increase interest from abroad.
Significantly, Real Madrid don’t appear ready to make an imminent move, but Hazard’s interest in playing for the La Liga club, alongside his love for Zinedine Zidane, is clearly proving problematic for Chelsea.
The move will, undoubtedly, put pressure on the Chelsea board to convince the Belgian to remain at the club – particularly given that Thibaut Courtois has refused to sign a new deal at present too. In the case of the goalkeeper, he is keen to see an increase in his wages, and so whilst that is a solvable issue, it’s clear that the Blues’ board have more than a few major things to deal with.
Losing Eden Hazard would be catastrophic for Chelsea. His form this season has been sensational, and without him, it’s tough to see how Chelsea would have won a few of their games this term.
His current deal runs through to 2020, and so there are no fears of an imminent departure against Chelsea’s wishes, but this is something that the Blues need to get sorted as soon as possible.
Chelsea fans – thoughts?
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