Real Madrid repeat 'Plan Courtois' to secure Chelsea's Eden Hazard
The strategy takes a little time but, as with the situation with the Belgian goalkeeper, Los Blancos are confident they will sign his compatriot.
Real Madrid already know how to bring Eden Hazard from Stamford Bridge to the Santiago Bernabéu this summer. They are following the same plan that proved so successful for Thibaut Courtois, another Belgian, also from Chelsea.
Hazard to follow Courtois path
Hazard is seen in Madrid as one of the pillars of the new project in Madrid, one that will see a team rejuvenated with several new faces following signs of weariness after an incredibly successful few years. Four Champions League titles from the last five is an unprecedented feat, but Florentino Pérez knows that while history can be revered, future successes must be in the planning.
Just as Courtois did before his move away from London, Hazard has been rejecting various offers of a contract extension with Chelsea. And in just the same way, the initial stumbling block seemed to be a distance between financial remuneration for club and player, however, a dream move to the Spanish capital steadily became a clearer reason for the delay. For the goalkeeper, much was made about him moving back to Spain to be with his children and former partner. For Hazard, the chance to play for arguably the biggest club in the world appears to be the major factor.
Courtois’ signed for Los Blancos in the summer of 2018, one year before he would have been able to leave for free. Chelsea did not want to lose their number one stopper but, rather than receiving no remuneration, agreed on the deal, for ‘just’ (in the current market) 35 million euros. They subsequently went out and spent over the odds on a promising young keeper in Kepa. Hazard’s contract is due to expire in June 2020. Hazard has repeatedly turned down a new offer to stay.
Madrid-Hazard mutual admiration
The flirting between Real Madrid and the Belgian winger has been constant over some time now. Hazard’s father spoke in December 2017 saying that, "Eden has refused an extension of the contract” stating that their eyes were on a move to Real Madrid. “Somewhere he would be a good fit," remarked Hazard senior.
Earlier this year, Belgian journalist Kristof Terreur, someone close to the player, commented that "Hazard has rejected two offers to renew [with Chelsea] so far and says he does not want to sign anything right now.” He went on to add that this could only mean one thing: Real Madrid. The player himself said recently that, "I have already decided, I know what I want to do. My decision will be known soon."
Reports in England suggest that Chelsea, who would rather not lose the player – especially with the news that The Blues have a transfer ban in place until the summer 2020 – want at least 112 million euros for Hazard. But for someone with just a year left on their contract, and who is 28 years old, Madrid expect to pay much less. As well as their ‘Plan Courtois’, of course, they also have Hazard’s goalkeeping compatriot sending ‘come and join me’ hints whenever possible.