Chelsea star declares Real Madrid ‘special’ despite Zinedine Zidane exit

Eden Hazard has hinted he would still be interested in a move to Real Madrid even though Zinedine Zidane has left the club.

Zidane was idolised by Hazard when the Belgium star was growing up and the appreciation became mutual, with Zidane known to have wanted Real to buy Hazard from Chelsea.

Real were surprised when Zidane quit earlier this summer, soon after claiming his third successive Champions League title as a coach. He has been replaced by Julen Loptegui.

Zidane had been pushing the Real hierarchy to sign Hazard but earlier this summer, it appeared they were keener on Paris St Germain pair Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.

Hazard has two more years remaining on his contract at Chelsea and has said he is happy at the club, although he challenged the club to match his ambitions towards the end of the last campaign, which culminated in an FA Cup victory.

Ahead of Belgium’s World Cup semi-final against France tonight, Hazard told beIN Sports: “Right now I’m good at Chelsea and besides, nobody has approached me with an offer,” Hazard told BeIn Sports, in quotes cited by Marca.

“Yes I know I have said that Zidane is special but the Madrid shirt is special with or without him at the club and they are a club who make you dream.

“I’m doing well in blue, so my future does not bother me.”

Chelsea returned to pre-season training yesterday with their managerial situation still unclear.

Antonio Conte has returned to their Cobham training base and is overseeing the sessions but his future remains in doubt, with Chelsea thought to be keen on appointing his fellow Italian, Maurizio Sarri.

If he is to depart, Conte would like the final year of his contract – worth £9.5million – to be paid as a one-off sum, with Chelsea’s policy to deliver a weekly salary.

Sarri, meanwhile, was replaced by Carlo Ancelotti at Napoli after last season but is still under contract with the Serie A club, with president Aurelio De Laurentiis seeking compensation.

Mason Mount had this to say about Derby County boss Frank Lampard

Frank Lampard is apparently keen to bring Chelsea youngster Mason Mount to Derby County.

The Rams have been linked with a move to sign the England Under-19 international on a season-long loan.

Mount enjoyed a highly successful breakthrough season with Dutch side Vitesse Arnhem last term.

The 19-year-old scored 13 goals and provided 10 assists from midfield, and was named the club’s player of the season.

Mount has spoken about how he wants to emulate Chelsea legend Lampard, who is the Blues’ all-time leading goalscorer.

“My goal is to play at the highest level I can,” he told Goal in April. “To get to the top, that’s the goal of every young football player.

“I want to play in the Champions League – that’s the pinnacle of club football. I am working towards that. I am working hard in training every day to achieve that.

“I am working on my finishing. I want to score more goals and make more assists.

That’s definitely my target – make as many goals and assists as I can. I work on my finishing with my right and left foot, my corners, free-kicks and my all-around game.

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