Premier League • England

Eden Hazard: Top source reveals two parties who pushed hardest to sign Chelsea hero before retirement decision

Eden Hazard, Belgium

Eden Hazard captains Belgium at 2022 World Cup

Transfer guru Fabrizio Romano has detailed interest from Major League Soccer and Saudi Arabia in Belgium winger Eden Hazard, prior to his retirement.

Hazard left Spanish titans Real Madrid in the summer after it was decided that his contract would be terminated a year early. This left the former Chelsea star searching for a new club, either in Europe or further afield.

Earlier in the year, Hazard had surprisingly been linked with a Premier League return, with reports claiming both Arsenal and Newcastle United to be interested in him. However, both of those teams snubbed the chance to complete what would have been an eye-opening deal.

After that, there were speculative reports that claimed Hazard might complete a huge return to Stamford Bridge. However, such rumours were soon shut down by Romano, who stated in September that there was a ‘concrete chance’ the 32-year-old would hang up his boots.

Hazard is understood to have received offers from clubs in France, Saudi Arabia and his native Belgium, but he rejected all of these.

And on Tuesday, Hazard revealed on social media that he would be retiring. Hazard wrote that ‘you must listen to yourself and say stop at the right time.’ He thanked the managers, coaches, team-mates, clubs and fans, who have all played a pivotal role in his career.

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Writing on X, formerly known as Twitter, Romano has provided an insight into Hazard’s situation. He explains how it was MLS and Saudi teams who made several approaches to try and snare him away from Europe. But Hazard ‘was not convinced’ by such moves as he ‘was already thinking of retirement’.

Romano adds that the 126-cap international instead opted to ‘try [a] new chapter in his life’.

Eden Hazard rejects two offers before retirement

Hazard could have earned big money in either the US or Saudi Arabia. But sadly, he may have fallen out of love with the game during his underwhelming and troublesome spell at Madrid.

After signing for Los Blancos from Chelsea for in excess of £100million in July 2019, Hazard struggled with fitness problems and injuries, as well as poor form when he did manage to get on the pitch.

During four seasons in the Spanish capital, Hazard only managed 76 appearances and seven goals. That is despite him almost always being available for selection at Chelsea.

Hazard’s struggles at Madrid should take nothing away from his achievements at Chelsea. During a seven-year spell in West London, he established himself as one of the most deadly and entertaining players the league has ever seen.

He won multiple individual awards, including the PFA Players’ Player of the Year in 2014-15, while scoring 110 goals in 352 appearances for the Blues.

Hazard’s brilliant performances helped Chelsea to win two Premier League titles, two Europa Leagues, one FA Cup and one League Cup.

Meanwhile, Liverpool appear to have stopped Manchester United and Chelsea from landing a Bundesliga star, according to a report.