REAL MADRID

Chelsea sanctions could affect Hazard Madrid move

Eden Hazard's mooted move to the Santiago Bernabéu could be halted in light of Chelsea's ban on signing players, which also has ramifications for Mateo Kovacic.

FIFA sanctions handed to Chelsea this Friday for the club’s involvement in signing minors could complicate Real Madrid’s plan to sign Eden Hazard this summer.

World football's governing body has penalised Chelsea with a ban on signing players for the next two transfer windows. While that does not directly affect the possibility of the sale of Hazard to Madrid, the fact that the Chelsea will not be able to sign a suitable replacement could make the club more reluctant to let go of their Belgian talisman.

In light of the FIFA sanctions, the Stamford Bridge board may now look to renew the 28-year-old’s contract, or even hold onto him until his current deal runs out in June, 2020, at which point they will be able to return to the market.

The news will come as a concern to Madrid, who have had Hazard high on their agenda since the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo last summer. As reported by AS, the Spanish club planned to adopt the same strategy it used to sign Hazard’s compatriot and former Blues team mate Thibaut Courtois last August - forcing Chelsea's hand to sell Hazard at a lower cost.

Ramifications for Mateo Kovacic 

But the sanctions could be a game-changer for ‘Operation Hazard’, which will be further complicated by the ramifications for Mateo Kovacic.

The Madrid midfielder is currently on loan at Chelsea and could have served as a valuable bargaining chip in negotiations for the Belgian winger. But FIFA’s transfer ban means that Kovacic will not be able to stay at Chelsea beyond the end of the agreed loan term in June, not even for an extended loan period.

As such Madrid will now have to find another destination for the Croatian, whose relationship had soured with the club before his move to Stamford Bridge last summer.