According to Sky Sports, Real Madrid have agreed a fee of around £88million plus big addons with Chelsea for the signature of Belgium forward Eden Hazard.
One of the longest-running sagas of recent transfer windows finally looks set to end, with the 28-year-old close to joining the Spanish champions. Hazard stated after the Europa League final, in which he helped Chelsea beat Arsenal 4-1, that he believed the game was a goodbye to the club.
The move was almost inevitable
Hazard moving to Real Madrid is a long time in the making. For the last three summers, reportedly the Spanish giants have had the forward at the top of their shopping list. However, the player himself has been loyal to the Blues and remained at Stamford Bridge.
With his contract running out next summer, this seemed to be the right time for the club from the Spanish capital to make their move. The mooted fee they are paying is not ridiculous by the crazy modern transfer fees for a player who has unique talents.
Hazard always talked about dreaming of playing for Real Madrid one day. It now looks like that will be sooner rather than later.
A massive loss to Chelsea
Eden Hazard will be a massive loss to Chelsea. He is, without doubt, one of the best players in the Premier League. His unique talents will be impossible to replace, even if the Blues transfer ban is overturned by Court of Sport for Arbitration. He is simply that good a player.
When Chelsea have thrived in recent years winning titles and major trophies, Hazard has always been a key player, creating and scoring goals. However, he is now on a different level to his teammates.
In fact, last season Hazard dragged the Blues through games at times. If it were not for his influence the team from south west London would not be playing Champions League football next season, as he scored 16 top-flight goals and contributed 15 assists. He also created more chances than any player (80) in the Premier League last season.
Chelsea had no choice but to sell the star really. They could have kept him until next summer, but that would have meant letting the forward leave on a free. Even for a club as financial well-back as Chelsea that is a big loss on a player.
Hazard part of a big rebuild at Real Madrid
Real Madrid have already started their squad rebuild with the signings of Serbian forward Luka Jovic from Eintracht Frankfurt and Brazilian centre-back Eder Militao. However, it appears that boss Zinedine Zidane is far from finished with the strengthening of his squad. Hazard joining the club is just start of a big rebuild in the Spanish capital.
The Spanish giants need to strengthen too, as they are second favourites to arch-rivals Barcelona for the Spanish title next season. With Hazard in their ranks, Los Blancos will certainly be a far more dangerous team in attack.
The move to Madrid could well elevate Hazard to the next level. At 28 years old he is in the prime of his career and he should thrive at Bernabeu.
Can Eden Hazard help Real Madrid to success next season?