Former defender Danny Higginbotham has warned Chelsea that Eden Hazard will inevitably move to Real Madrid, in comments made to TalkSport.
The 27-year-old Belgium international was heavily linked with a move to the Champions League winners during the summer but was persuaded to stay at Stamford Bridge by Blues boss Maurizio Sarri, who took charge in West London.
However, Real Madrid are still interested in Hazard, who has scored seven goals and contributed three assists in eight matches this season, and Higginbotham has told Chelsea they must prepare for Hazard’s inevitable exit.
“Eden Hazard would be a massive player for Real Madrid. He’s a phenomenal player and he’s only getting better all the time. He hasn’t even reached his peak.
“He’s been the best player in the Premier League this season and he’s really enjoying his football at Chelsea under Sarri. He has freedom playing on the left of a front three, he’s got a really good understanding and partnership with Olivier Giroud and it’s very fluid. It works for him.
“But, when a Real Madrid or Barcelona come calling, it’s very difficult to refuse. A lot of players’ dream destinations, especially foreign players who come to the Premier League, are Barcelona and Real Madrid.
“If Real Madrid were to come in for Hazard it would be very difficult to turn them away, no matter the size of the club you’re already playing for. You only have to look at the examples – Ronaldo, Suarez, Courtois, Coutinho, Bale…
“I honestly thought Hazard was going to go in the summer. But Hazard is a player where Real Madrid, like they did with Ronaldo, could say, ‘It’s OK, we’ll wait for you’.”