Arsenal interest in signing Eden Hazard is ‘real’ after a report detailed the first step they’ve taken towards beating Newcastle to his signature.
The Chelsea legend, 31, has seen his career take a dramatic nosedive since leaving Stamford Bridge in 2019. Hazard moved to Real Madrid in a deal worth an initial €100m. If all the pre-agreed bonuses in the contract were met, that figure could ultimately have risen to over €146m.
However, Hazard’s time at the Bernabeu has been nothing short of a disaster.
Injuries and fitness concerns have blighted his spell in Spain. After two and a half years in Madrid, Hazard has just six goals and 10 assists to his name.
That has led to persistent links with a premature return to England where he achieved his greatest success with Chelsea. Bringing Hazard back to these shores would undoubtedly be a gamble, but as Philippe Coutinho has shown at Aston Villa, some gambles do pay off.
Now, French outlet FootMercato shed light on what the future could hold for the Madrid forward.
Firstly, they state there will be a period of reflection once the current season concludes. That will be with the aim of determining whether Hazard should be moved on two years before his contract expires in 2024.
Arsenal initiate Eden Hazard transfer talks
Chelsea has understandably drawn links with bringing Hazard back to the Bridge in the past. However, their off-field turmoil now makes that scenario a non-starter.
Instead, it’s stated Arsenal’s interest is ‘real’ and the Gunners have ‘initiated first contacts’. Information is said to have been taken on the possibility of landing Hazard, though for the moment, any transfer is on hold.
Newcastle are also reportedly in the mix and are ‘following Hazard closely’. The Magpies were tentatively interested during the January window, but any move on that scale was always likely to come in the summer if and when their Premier League status was secured.
Newcastle have opened talks with Eden Hazard over Premier League return
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However, the report goes on to detail Hazard’s opinion of returning to England, and it doesn’t make great reading for those wanting to see him back in the Premier League.
The 31-year-old is described as ‘not thinking of leaving’ Real Madrid this summer. Instead, he wishes to ‘fight for his place’ next season.
Nevertheless, Real are deemed receptive to the idea of selling Hazard and are ‘not closing the door’ to a departure. As such, a Hazard return to England remains a possibility, though not a likely one at this stage.