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Hazard, it's now down to you to make Real Madrid move happen

The transfer ban handed out to Chelsea today means it's more crucial than ever that Eden Hazard does everything he can from his end to make his and Real Madrid's dreams of a summer deal a reality.

Of course, Chelsea are now armed with the perfect explanation for their fans if they want to hold on to Hazard until his contract expires in 2020, at the expense of the 28-year-old then being able to go wherever he wants (we already know where that is, clearly) on a free transfer. Given that they can't register new signings in the summer window, they will have an excuse that nobody could argue with.

Hazard must tell Chelsea: I'm off

Hazard warms up for Chelsea's Europa League clash with Malmö.
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Hazard warms up for Chelsea's Europa League clash with Malmö.PETER CZIBORRAAction Images via Reuters

However, Hazard could also put it to the Premier League club's owner, Roman Abramovich, that his potential departure has already been covered by the signing of Christian Pulisic - who is to arrive from Borussia Dortmund next season - and that it's absurd to try and keep a player whose head and heart is elsewhere.

At the end of term, he should say loud and clear that he's given everything he can to Chelsea, and that he's off to Spain. Just as Madrid let Cristiano Ronaldo go for a knockdown fee as thanks for all he had done in his nine years at the club, so the Blues should acknowledge that Hazard has been key to everything that the Stamford Bridge faithful have had to shout about in recent years.

Hazard's Madrid move can wait no longer

He cannot, and must not, wait any longer. He must join Madrid this summer. For a reasonable price, mind you. If Chelsea try to use their ban to seek an exorbitant fee, the European champions should not be drawn into throwing around silly money. At this stage in the tale, falling prey to opportunistic extortion would be folly.