Speaking to the media while on international duty with Belgium, the 27-year-old made it clear he wasn’t going to force his way out of the club. “If I leave Chelsea,” he said. “I will leave on good terms.”
Hazard saw first-hand how his compatriot Thibaut Courtois forced his way to the Bernabeu last summer. The goalkeeper was within a year of the end of his contract and determined to leave Stamford Bridge.
Hazard has two years left on his own contract; the 2020 expiry suggests the Belgian may leave West London next year. Real Madrid is his ideal destination; it was last summer, but Chelsea wouldn’t contemplate selling the mercurial forward as well as his goalkeeping team-mate.
“Chelsea were clear to me, I could not leave, I accepted it,” Hazard said. “Leaving or staying, I knew I was going to be happy. I do not regret at all.”
He is very clear that a move won’t happen before the summer. “Could a transfer happen in January? It’s not possible.”
Very carefully, however, he did not rule out a move once the Premier League season is over. And that is news which will worry Chelsea fans more than anything else.