Arsenal have emerged as a surprise contender to sign Eden Hazard as it’s claimed Mikel Arteta’s men ‘initiated the first contact’ with Real Madrid over the prospect of signing the former Chelsea forward
Eden Hazard has previously admitted he has an affection for Arsenal as Mikel Arteta’s men reportedly target the misfiring Real Madrid man.
The Belgian is expected to leave the Bernabeu in the summer after a torrid few years with the Spanish giants. Hazard left Chelsea in the summer of 2019 to join Madrid but he looks like a shadow of the player he was at Stamford Bridge.
Hazard was widely considered the best player outside of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo at one point and rumors he is set to leave the Spanish capital has plenty of clubs on alert to his situation. Naturally, he has previously been linked with a move back to Chelsea in January and last summer, but nothing came of it.
And a meeting is extremely unlikely given the sanctions that have been placed on Chelsea, on account of owner Roman Abramovich’s affiliation with Vladimir Putin. The Blues are currently unable to sign any players or offer new contracts while the restrictions are in place.
Arsenal have emerged as a surprise contender, however, according to Foot Mercato. It’s claimed Gunners have initiated the first contact with Real Madrid over the prospect of signing the former Chelsea star.
The report states that Arteta is said to be keen on adding Hazard to his ranks as he continues to transform his ever-improving side into title contenders. The Gunners are set for another busy summer transfer window after spending almost £150million last year.
It remains to be seen if Hazard would join Chelsea’s city rivals given his ties to Thomas Tuchel’s side, but the forward has admitted he watched Arsenal regularly growing up with their starring French contingent in the early 2000s led by Thierry Henry. Hazard did concede it’s “difficult” to speak positively about Chelsea’s rivals, proving that his loyalty to the Blues is still there.
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Speaking with On The Front Foot Magazine back in February 2021, he said: “When I was little, the team I watched the most was the French national team. For me, the players I looked up to were Zinedine Zidane and Thierry Henry.
“It’s difficult for me to admit because of my relationship with Chelsea, but I really liked the Arsenal team at the time. They had players like Robert Pires, [Sylvain] Wiltord, and [Patrick] Vieira, so it was mainly French players that I followed growing up.”
Hazard was adamant he was going to fight for his place under Carlo Ancelotti at the start of the season. He also said going back to England was “out of the question”, but that stance seems to have changed given another dismal year with Madrid.
He said on May 26, 2020: “I still have a three-year contract with Real Madrid, so going back to England is out of the question. Everyone knows that my first two years were not good, so first I want to prove myself at Real Madrid. I will do everything to do that.
“I certainly don’t see myself leaving Madrid, given the contract situation. I know myself and I know when I’m in shape. If that’s the case, I can give it my all for Real next season. That’s my plan.”
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George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism