When Eden Hazard left Chelsea in 2019, Real Madrid fans thought they were getting one of the best players in the world.
He was supposed to be the heir to Cristiano Ronaldo’s throne. He was supposed to be the main man. He was supposed to be the standout player who would inspire them to glory. He was supposed to be the next Galactico.
Two years on, and the Belgian is probably wishing he never left London. A series of injury problems and several dry spells have seen him suffer a serious fall from grace.
He’s now on the fringes at the Bernabeu Stadium. Nonetheless, if he could get back to his best, he would be a star for any club.
Recent reports have stated that Los Blancos are willing to listen to offers for the winger this summer. Here’s a list of clubs that could be interested.
Madrid fans may not have warmed to Hazard, but he is still a hero at Stamford Bridge.
The 30-year-old was one of the Premier League’s best players during his time at Chelsea, winning PFA Player of the Year once and being nominated a further four times during his seven years in England. If he were to come back, the fans would welcome him back with open arms.
They may prioritise a striker in the summer, given some of their struggles in front of goal this season.
Their top scorer in the league was Jorginho, which is really saying something. However, this is an area that Hazard can also help in. He was the Blues’ top scorer in three of his seasons in south-west London.
English champions Manchester City were linked with the Belgian back in January. There has been little speculation since then, so this one seems unlikely.
However, with Raheem Sterling underperforming, a new winger could be in the pipeline. Phil Foden and Riyad Mahrez have performed well this season, and Bernardo Silva also offers an option on the right, but squad depth will be necessary for fighting on all four fronts.
Although, once again, a striker is likely to take precedence. Harry Kane and Erling Haaland have been the ones most closely linked.
Manchester United have been heavily linked with a winger for the past year or so. Jadon Sancho seems to be the number one target, but that move hasn’t yet materialised. Kingsley Coman and Ousmane Dembele have been touted as alternatives.
Should they fail to get a deal for Sancho over the line, perhaps Hazard would be a good second option.
As stated above, if they can get him back to his best, they will have one of the most feared players in the league. However, that is a big if.
Neymar and Kylian Mbappe are constantly linked with moves away from PSG. The former has recently signed a new contract, but the latter is still left with just a year left on his current deal and has been heavily rumoured to be on Real Madrid’s radar.
Maybe a swap deal could be on the cards. Real Madrid desperately want Mbappe but probably can’t afford his transfer fee in their current financial situation.
Hazard could be used as a makeweight to make the Frenchman more affordable while also getting rid of an unwanted player.
At PSG, Hazard would have the opportunity to revive his reputation. He enjoyed some fabulous early years in France at Lille and would once again be expected to shine in Ligue 1.
Les Parisiens could help rejuvenate the winger, in the same way they did for Angel Di Maria following his underwhelming spell at Man Utd.
Out of form, overweight, past his best, declining – these are all words used to describe Luis Suarez this time last year. 12 months on, and we’re saying the same things about Hazard.
Suarez was sold on the cheap to Atletico Madrid and has since silenced all the doubters with another fantastic season.
In his debut year at the Wanda Metropolitano, he was the one to fire them to a first title since 2014, scoring 21 league goals.
If Diego Simeone feels like he can perform a similar miracle with Hazard, it must be worth a go. And if he does, it will go a long way to winning back-to-back titles for the first time since 1951.
Romelu Lukaku, Christian Eriksen, Ashley Young, Matteo Darmian, Alexis Sanchez, Arturo Vidal – some of the many outcasts who have just won the league at Inter Milan.
The Nerazzurri cruised to the Serie A title this season, finishing 12 points clear of rivals AC Milan in second.
Winning it once is amazing, but defending the title is the next challenge. Can they maintain these standards for a second season running? That remains to be seen, but a player like Hazard would be very useful to that aim.
In addition, manager Antonio Conte has worked with the 30-year-old during his two years at Chelsea.
In that time, they won one Premier League and one FA Cup together, with Hazard scoring the winner in the final of the latter.
However, Inter Milan haven’t played with natural wingers this season. Either Hazard would have to adapt, or the system would have to change.