Chelsea have already done deal for Eden Hazard replacement as Real Madrid swoop looms

CHELSEA acted swiftly in the signing of Christian Pulisic because Eden Hazard is likely to leave at the end of the season.

That’s according to football consultant Ian McGarry, who says their impending two-window transfer ban from FIFA also explains why the Blues snapped up Pulisic in the January market.

The Borussia Dortmund youngster, 20, completed a £58m switch to Stamford Bridge in the winter window.

As part of the deal, however, he was loaned back to the Bundesliga outfit until the end of the season.

The deal only intensified speculation that Hazard, who has been long linked with a move to Real Madrid, could leave Chelsea in the summer.

And McGarry feels the writing’s on the wall for the Belgian.

“They have got Christian Pulisic already done, so that was clearly a move done in January with the spectre of the transfer-window ban hanging over them and the idea that Hazard might leave,” he told The Transfer Window podcast.

“Even though he’s young and untested as far as the Premier League’s concerned, £60m shows a lot of faith in a player so young. And I think the writing’s on the wall here. Pulisic signed in January, Hazard will leave in the summer.

“The difference between Hazard and Neymar is Madrid believe they can get Hazard relatively easy because of the position they’re in and because Hazard’s got one year left on his contract, whereas Neymar might be the one that goes to the wire.”

Real have also been tipped to sign Neymar, who is reportedly unhappy with life at Paris St-Germain.

The Brazilian moved to the Parc Des Princes for a world-record £200m back in 2017, leaving Barcelona behind, but he has been unable to make an impact in the Champions League and is now desperate to join Los Blancos.

According to journalist Duncan Castles, Neymar wants Hazard to join him at the Bernabeu next season.

“Interesting side element in this, Real Madrid’s priority for the summer, Florentino Perez’s priority for the summer, was Neymar. What would the implications be for Eden Hazard? Would that rule out the possibility of him moving there? We said it didn’t,” he said.

“What I’m hearing is that Neymar is actually in favour of Real Madrid moving for Hazard as well as himself, and the reason is he doesn’t want to be the only big-name signing coming into Madrid this summer in this huge transfer window they have ahead of them with Zidane back in place, with the idea that they have to overhaul their squad and turn themselves back into contenders for the Champions League and more importantly to try and get the Spanish title back from Barcelona.

“Neymar’s conscious that if such a large transfer fee is expended on him, if he gets the high wages that will be needed to take him out of PSG and he comes as the kind of hero figure, supposed to be the player on the pitch to turn it around and make the difference that Cristiano Ronaldo made and Real Madrid allowed to depart, that might be too difficult or put too much pressure on him or make his transition to Madrid, which he wants to be successful, harder than it could be.

“So he’s encouraging Madrid to do other big-name deals along with him. I think there you have the answer, you have Neymar and Hazard being signed in the one summer.

“As far as Madrid are concerned, you can if you can get Chelsea and Paris St-Germain to agree the deals.”

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