Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has admitted that he feared losing star player Eden Hazard this summer.
Since arriving at Stamford Bridge in 2012, Hazard has been a key member of the Blues first team and he is a three-time recipient of the Chelsea Player of the Year award, having won the trophy in the 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2016-17 seasons.
During two of those seasons, the Blues were crowned Premier League champions. The Belgian international has firmly established himself as one of the best attacking midfielders in the game, and perhaps of the modern generation, after regularly churning out top-class performances in both club and international football.
The 27-year-old is a reported target of Real Madrid, who are on the search for a top-class attacking talent to serve as a replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo, who left the club to link up with Italian giants Juventus. Ronaldo is someone that is very difficult to replace but looking at the modern game, there are not many other options than Hazard.
It is easy to see a player of Hazard’s being tempted by a move to Los Blancos. The Spanish giants have won the Champions League four times in the past five seasons. While Chelsea are one of the great clubs of world football, they have struggled for consistency during recent seasons as evidenced by the fact that they have not qualified for the Champions League twice in the past three years.
After losing Thibaut Courtois to Madrid during the summer transfer window, the Blues would certainly not want to lose another one of their leaders and star talents within a short period of time.
While discussing the speculation surrounding the future of Hazard, Sarri said as reported by Goal: “Of course, I was concerned about this problem. The first time I spoke to him, I was sure that he would stay. So I was concerned for 20 days, no more. Chelsea are one of the most important clubs in Europe.
“I think one of the most important clubs in Europe cannot sell an important player without the possibility of buying a player on the same level.”