CHELSEA star Eden Hazard may be off to Real Madrid – but Antonio Conte is not the right man to be managing him in Spain.
Chelsea’s key player has been touted for a move to the Bernabeu at the end of the season.
The Belgian’s contract is up in 18 months time meaning the Blues will likely sell him rather than lose Hazard for nothing the following year.
Real Madrid head the queue of clubs who are keen on the player.
But could the potential appointment of Antonio Conte throw a spanner in the works?
Conte has been suggested as a successor to Julen Lopetegui after he was sacked as Madrid boss following the 5-1 hammering at rivals Barcelona last month.
The Italian is known for his pragmatic style of play and journalist Duncan Castles thinks Conte wouldn’t get the best out of Hazard.
Speaking on the latest episode of The Transfer Window podcast, he said: “To get the most out of Eden Hazard you probably don’t want Antonio Conte to be his manager because there has been great difficulty in that relationship.
“I don’t think it will stop Hazard going there.
“I think it more of a factor in Perez’s thinking of ‘if I’m going to spend this amount of money and make Eden Hazard the headline signing next summer, I want a coach who can take full advantage of his abilities.’
“The other dimension with Conte is he has a history of aggravating every dressing room.
“He also plays extremely defensive football. His tactics at Chelsea, while exciting on the counter-attack in his first season, where to play a five-man defence, with four men guarding them and a striker going around and trying to do damage to the opposition midfielders when they had the ball.”
“That, as one former Real Madrid employee said to me last week, would be a recipe for absolute disaster if he tried to implement that in the Santiago Bernabeu.”
Hazard and Conte won the Premier League title during the Italian’s first season at Stamford Bridge before claiming the FA Cup the following year.
An eighth league victory from an 11-game unbeaten start saw Maurizio Sarri, a 59-year-old former banker, equal Frank Clark’s Premier League record. Clark was undefeated in his first 11 Premier League games with Nottingham Forest in 1994.
Sarri, who replaced Conte as head coach in July after Chelsea’s fifth-place finish last term, said: “I am very proud to be the coach of this team.
“The record is not a record of the coach, it’s a record of the team.”
The Blues are second, ahead of Liverpool on goal difference and two points behind leaders Manchester City.
“At the beginning we knew very well there was a gap. Last season the gap was 30 points,” Sarri added.
“It’s very difficult to cover 30 points only in six months, but we are trying.”