Eden Hazard is on his way to Real Madrid after the Spanish giants agreed an initial £88million deal with Chelsea .
In a stunning piece of business for a player out of contract in a years’ time, the Blues could rake in as much as £130m should the 28-year-old Belgian achieve a number of “easily reachable” bonuses.
Hazard will sign a six-year deal at the Bernabeu after spending seven years in London at Stamford Bridge. He is expected to get the no.7 shirt rather than the no.10 shirt currently occupied by Luka Modric.
The former Lille star will be the third signing of Zinedine Zidane’s revamp at Madrid this summer following the captures of Porto defender Eder Militao and Eintracht Frankfurt striker Luka Jovic.
Hazard’s time at Chelsea has been hugely productive with the playmaker establishing himself as the team’s most important component for several seasons.
Over the past campaign he smashed 16 goals and provided 15 assists, playing a key role in the Blues’ return to the Champions League and their run to the Europa League Final.
Since signing from Lille in 2012, he has lifted the Premier League twice along with one FA Cup and two Europa League titles, the last of which came two weeks ago when he dazzled in the Final against Arsenal in Baku.
It was after that match that he confirmed he was leaving.
“Yes, I think this is goodbye,” he said. “It’s time for a new challenge.”
Florentino Perez added an interview with radio station Onda Cero: “I have a feeling that Eden Hazard will be coming this year.
“I am very interested in him coming to Real Madrid and I am very hopeful he will come in. He is one of the greats of the world of football.
“How are we going to talk to a club that is playing a final (the Europa League), we have been trying for several years that Hazard is a Madrid player but we have not yet achieved it.”
Meanwhile Chelsea misfit Alvaro Morata has begged Atletico Madrid to make his loan spell permanent so that he doesn’t have to go back to Stamford Bridge.
The 26-year-old arrived was signed by Chelsea from Real Madrid for a then club-record £57m fee in July 2017.
In his debut campaign he helped them to win the FA Cup and, in total, he scored 24 goals in 72 appearances.
But falling himself out of Maurizio Sarri’s plans, he moved to Atletico and scored six goals in 17 appearances over the past ten months.
He said: “I want to stay at Atletico but, contractually, Chelsea can call me back. We will see what happens in the negotiations between them, but the two clubs already know what I want.
“I only ask, please, as I said to Atletico, do everything possible to do it as soon as possible. Because I just want to be here.”
“I had lost confidence in myself previously. I was very upset by the opinion of the people in England. I think they caught me in the middle of everything.
“I didn’t quite feel loved or appreciated by the club or the fans. I started very well at Chelsea, but an injury in the end leaves you a bit stuck.
“As bad as it was, I still scored 15 goals and won the FA Cup.”