FC Barcelona is set to test Chelsea FC’s resolve to keep Eden Hazard in the summer transfer window, according to a report in Spain.
Spanish media outlet Sport, as quoted by the Daily Express, is reporting that FC Barcelona has been looking into the possibility of a sensational swoop to sign the Chelsea FC number 10 this summer.
The same article states that the Catalan side has identified the Belgium international as a player capable of improving Ernesto Valverde’s squad ahead of the new La Liga season.
According to the same story, Hazard would be open to a potential summer move after the Blues finished in the fifth spot in the Premier League last term to miss out on a Champions League spot.
Hazard has been regularly linked with a move to FC Barcelona’s bitter rivals Real Madrid over the past three or four seasons but a deal has failed to materialize.
In addition, the Belgian forward is rumoured to be a boyhood Real Madrid fan given his love for their former playmaker and manager Zinedine Zidane.
FC Barcelona has also been linked with a swoop to sign Chelsea FC winger Willian and the Blues were reported to have turned down a £50m bid from the La Liga side last term.
Steve McManaman reveals Chelsea FC transfer problem for Maurizio Sarri
Steve McManaman believes Maurizio Sarri doesn’t have sufficient time left in the transfer window to overhaul Chelsea FC’s squad if the Italian head coach does replace Antonio Conte at Stamford Bridge.
The Blues have endured a summer of uncertainty and relentless speculation so far following their fifth-placed finish in the Premier League last season under Conte.
The former Juventus boss leads Chelsea FC to FA Cup glory thanks to a 1-0 win over Manchester United but the Blues missed out on a Champions League spot.
Conte was critical of the west London side’s hierarchy throughout the Premier League campaign to fuel speculation that he would be sacked at the end of the season despite winning the Premier League title in 2017.
Sarri has been touted as the favourite to take over the reins from his compatriot but the former Napoli manager still hasn’t been appointed as the new manager despite incessant rumours surrounding Stamford Bridge throughout the summer.
Former Liverpool FC and Real Madrid winger McManaman don’t believe Sarri will have much time to oversee new signings in the summer transfer window.
“Well it’s certainly not helping is it,” McManaman told ESPN FC.
“I don’t think the players have a healthy respect for Antonio Conte unfortunately.
“I don’t think it should matter, he’s the manager and he’s turned up for pre-season training.
“But everybody knows the rumour mill at Chelsea is ridiculous at the moment, I think people are just waiting for him to go.
“It’s not a case of ‘he’s definitely going to go’ but they’re just waiting for him to go and Sarri to come in.
“They haven’t covered themselves in glory at all Chelsea, the way they’ve gone about their business was awful really.”
He added: “Buying players (will be a problem) because the transfer window closes really early in England this year of course with the new ruling.
“So you haven’t got any time at all to get your house in order.”
Chelsea FC has finished outside the top four spots in two of the last three seasons.