Eden Hazard has dropped a light-hearted hint he could be set to leave Chelsea for Real Madrid this summer.
The Belgian is out of contract at the end of next season and is reportedly on Zinedine Zidane’s summer shortlist.
Hazard’s Chelsea future: Five key things to know…
Hazard has made 339 appearances for Chelsea since joining from Lille in 2012.
With just over 16 months remaining on his contract, speculation has been rife about his future throughout the current campaign.
Last summer, Hazard labelled Real Madrid “the best club in the world”.
And reports suggest the La Liga giants want to sign Hazard this summer.
The 28-year-old has scored at least 16 goals in five of his seven seasons at the club, including this term, winning two Premier League titles along the way.
Currently away with Belgium on international duty, Hazard has received inevitable questions from the media about his future.
At one interview session, as reported by Belgian outlet HLN, Hazard was asked a tongue-in-cheek question about a possible move to Real Madrid.
The question was: “Look, I have a friend who has been playing in the Premier League for seven years. At a club that plays in blue. He has won everything there and he is ready for a new challenge. He is now in the interest of another club, one in a white outfit. What would you recommend to that boy?”
Smiling, Hazard replied: “Well, buy that friend a white shirt.”
Hazard not thinking of Real Madrid move “right now”
Other than his “white shirt” comment, Hazard has refused to talk about his Chelsea future since joining up with Belgium earlier this week.
Speaking to another Belgian outlet, VTM News, Hazard reiterated that he is focussed on helping Chelsea achieve their aims this season.
“I’m not working on that (a transfer) right now,” he said.
“I want to shine with Chelsea for a few months and try to win the Europa League. This week I think about the Red Devils (Belgium) and then back to Chelsea. Then we’ll see.”
Chelsea face Slavia Prague in the quarter-finals of the Europa League next month, a competition they may need to win to secure Champions League football next season, having fallen further adrift of Arsenal in the race for fourth-place at the weekend.
Chelsea fans react to Hazard comments
It’s safe to say Chelsea fans weren’t totally happy with Hazard’s “white shirt” comment, whether or not it was in jest.
Some reacted with resignation, accepting that Hazard is likely to join Real Madrid at the end of the season.
Others responded with anger, criticising Hazard for fuelling further speculation about a potential exit. See the best of the reaction from Twitter below.
— Piusazio (@Piusazio) March 18, 2019
And it's started…
— FutbolChelsea (@FutbolCheIsea) March 18, 2019
Couldn't he honestly just keep quiet or say Belgian shirt or something. This is like the whole charade when we signed him
— Lewis (@Big_Game_Player) March 18, 2019
Couldn't just keep quiet….
Belgian players talk too much
— starr (@Victor_ighoo) March 18, 2019
I don’t blame him for wanting to go we are turning into a mid table. I’d wanna go aswell with the way we are going
— Luke (@L11UKE) March 19, 2019
Here's the thing, if hazard were scoring goals like he used to in the beginning of the season and winning games for us lately, I'd really be upset about all this. But he's not. There are a lot of people we can get who also can't score goals. So what's the difference? Goodbye.
— Scott Barry (@thescottbarry) March 18, 2019
Genuinely sick of This. Just say your leaving so we can all be at peace man.
— #dontletCHOgo (@HudsonsJourney) March 18, 2019
Bye bye Eden
— Danger_ (@Danger_Hazard10) March 18, 2019
Just leave and shut up….
— ™Say_Chelsea™ (@Absteviano) March 18, 2019