Los Blancos have finally announced the capture of Hazard having been chasing him for a number of years
Real Madrid have signed Eden Hazard from Chelsea, the LaLiga club have announced.
Hazard, the Belgium forward, has long been linked with Los Blancos and has now penned terms with the Bernabeu outfit after the two clubs agreed a reported £88million fee, which could rise up to £130m due to add-ons.
He leaves Chelsea after seven years, during which time he has won six trophies. The 28-year-old’s final match for the Blues was last week’s Europa League final, with Hazard scoring a brace and also assisting Pedro’s goal in a 4-1 defeat of Arsenal.
Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia said: “Although it is with sadness we say goodbye to Eden and we made it absolutely clear to him the club wished him to stay, we respect the decision he has made to take on a new challenge in a different country and follow his childhood dream of playing for Real Madrid.”
Hazard made a total 352 appearances for Chelsea, scoring 110 goals.
He first joined Chelsea in the summer of 2012, penning a five-year contract with the Blues after they won a bidding war for the highly-rated 21-year-old.
The versatile forward had helped fire Lille to the French Ligue 1 title a couple of years before his switch to England, and he was widely regarded as one of the best young players in world football when Chelsea signed him a couple of weeks after they secured their first Champions League success.
The Blues won the Europa League in his debut season at Stamford Bridge, with Premier League and League Cup victories enjoyed in 2014/15. He added another league championship two years later and secured his first FA Cup in 2017/18, with the recent Europa League success ending his Chelsea career in perfect fashion.
Individual honours were also frequent during Hazard’s time in England, with PFA Young Player of the Year, Player of the Year and Fans’ Player of the Year awards won, as well as the FWA Footballer of the Year title for 2014/15.
His time at Chelsea has coincided with Hazard’s increasing influence on the international stage, with the forward playing a key role as Belgium reached the Euro 2016 quarter-finals.
He then captained the Red Devils two years later as they beat England to finish third at last summer’s World Cup in Russia. Hazard was awarded the Silver Ball for being the second best player at the tournament when it came to a close with France’s defeat of Croatia in the final.
Hazard becomes Real’s third signing of the summer after Eder Militao – who agreed a move to Madrid in March – and Luka Jovic, who put pen to paper on a six-year deal with Los Blancos earlier this week.
Rodrygo Goes will also link up with Real this summer having spent the 2018/19 season in his native Brazil after securing a transfer to the Bernabeu this time last year.
Ferland Mendy, the Lyon left-back, is expected to join Los Blancos over the coming days, while they’ve also been linked with moves for Manchester United’s Paul Pogba, and midfielder Christian Eriksen of Tottenham.
Chelsea have similarly been linked with a number of players, many of whom are viewed as replacements for the now-departed Hazard. Former Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho has been backed to move from Barcelona to Stamford Bridge, while Bruno Fernandes of Sporting CP is also said to be a target for the west Londoners.
However, the Blues are currently unable to sign any players due to a two-window transfer ban they were hit with by FIFA, world football’s governing body, over breaches of regulations concerning the transfer of players under the age of 18.
Club chiefs hope an appeal made to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) will either have the ban overturned, or, if that’s not possible, at least delay it until the close of the summer 2019 transfer window so they can buy players ahead of the 2019/20 campaign.