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REAL MADRID

Hazard Real Madrid move: Chelsea ban "bad, bad news"

Hazard Real Madrid move: Chelsea ban "bad, bad news"

MATTHEW CHILDS

Action Images via Reuters

AS spoke to a source close to the Belgium international who suggested FIFA's decision to uphold Chelsea transfer embargo may scupper Hazard's transfer.

FIFA’s decision to uphold a two-window transfer ban on Chelsea’s senior men’s squad has thrown a fairly large spanner in the works of Eden Hazard’s proposed move to Real Madrid this summer, which until Wednesday seemed to be simply a case of signing on the dotted line.

Consulted by AS, a source close to the Belgium international described the decision to prevent Chelsea from adding new players to Maurizio Sarri’s squad until June 2020 as “very, very bad news” for the 28-year-old’s designs of playing under Zinedine Zidane next season.

Chelsea can still appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport and that could either lead to the FIFA decision being overturned or a stay in the execution of the ban this summer while the higher court’s ruling is awaited, but as it stands the Premier League club will go into the 2019-20 campaign with what Sarri has at his disposal now plus Christian Pulisic, who was signed from Borussia Dortmund for 64 million euros in the January window.

Pulisic no guarantee of goals like Hazard

That addition to Chelsea’s squad was widely viewed as a replacement for Hazard, with the highly rated 20-year-old performing a similar role for Dortmund as the Belgian does for Chelsea, operating on the wings and as an attacking midfielder. That Pulisic was signed as a preventive measure in the case of a ban is a ray of light for Hazard, but Chelsea will be considerably less keen to part with their star player now that an experienced substitute will not be forthcoming.

Hazard is considering putting in a transfer request to smooth his move to the Bernabéu, but given the circumstances of the ban and his excellent relationship with the fans, he may elect to stay for another season as Antoine Griezmann did at Atlético when the Liga club were slapped with a similar sanction.

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