After completing Eden Hazard deal, Real Madrid now target Christian Eriksen

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Eden Hazard has finally realised his “childhood dream” of playing for Real Madrid, signing a five-year contract with the Spanish giants.

Madrid struck a deal with Chelsea that is understood could rise to a club-record fee of £150million, once all bonus payments come into play.

The flat fee will hit £100m, with Chelsea happy to allow Hazard to make his big move for that price given he had just one year left on his Stamford Bridge deal.

Hazard grew up with posters of Zinedine Zidane on his bedroom wall, and now the 28-year-old will work under the Madrid boss.

“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,” said Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia.

“The memories he leaves us with will not fade. He provided all who watched Chelsea play with great entertainment and many match-winning contributions, and for that we thank Eden enormously.

“He has been a model professional throughout his time at the club, a wonderful individual to have around and a joy to work with.

“We look forward to welcoming him back to Stamford Bridge in the future.”

Zinedine Zidane.

Zinedine Zidane.

In an open letter to Chelsea fans published on his Facebook page, Hazard said: “You now know that I will be joining Real Madrid. It’s no secret that it was my dream to play for them since I was a young boy just scoring my first goal.

“I have tried my very best not to distract myself or the team through this difficult period of speculation and media attention, especially the last six months.

“Now the clubs have reached an agreement I hope you understand I had to pursue my next chapter, just as each and every one of you should when you have the chance to pursue your dreams.

“Leaving Chelsea is the biggest and toughest decision in my career to date. Now it’s in the open I would like to put on record one thing was always clear to me, I have loved every moment at Chelsea and not once did I ever consider, nor would I have left for any other club.”

Hazard will double his wages to £400,000 in a five-year deal at Madrid, becoming the club’s second major signing of the summer after Frankfurt striker Luka Jovic.

Real will now look to prise Christian Eriksen away from Tottenham, though Spurs will fight tooth and nail to retain their Denmark playmaker.

Christian Eriksen

Christian Eriksen

“Real Madrid and Chelsea have agreed to the transfer of the player Eden Hazard,” read Madrid’s statement. “The player remains linked to the club during the next five seasons, until June 30, 2024.

“Eden Hazard will be presented as a new player of Real Madrid on Thursday, June 13 at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium, after passing the relevant medical examination.”

Hazard joined Chelsea from Lille in 2012, and went on to win two Premier League titles, one FA Cup and one League Cup – and two Europa League crowns.

The Belgium talisman leaves having fired 110 goals in 352 appearances at Chelsea – and above all with the full blessing of the club’s hierarchy that he so wanted before departing.

Hazard signed off in perfect style, spearheading the 4-1 Europa League final triumph over Arsenal in Baku, scoring twice and assisting another.

“I think it’s a goodbye,” said Hazard in Baku. “My dream was to play in the Premier League, I did it for seven years. Maybe it’s time for a new challenge.”

Chelsea did everything in their power to tempt Hazard into staying at Stamford Bridge, but the Blues could not combat the lure of Madrid.

Maurizio Sarri

Maurizio Sarri

Childhood friend and Belgium team-mate Christian Benteke revealed this week that Hazard told him when he was 12 that his chief ambition was to play for Real. And now the mercurial playmaker has seen that wish come true.

Chelsea will now hope for success in their appeal to the Court for Arbitration for Sport (CAS) against their two-window FIFA transfer ban.

Manager Maurizio Sarri’s move to Juventus is expected to be wrapped up shortly, with Chelsea holding out for £5m in compensation.

The Stamford Bridge hierarchy want their eventual new manager to arrive with the potential to make new recruits, with Barcelona’s Philippe Coutinho a possible target as Hazard’s replacement.

Homegrown forward Callum Hudson-Odoi will play a more pivotal role once fit after Achilles tendon surgery, though the 18-year-old remains locked in talks with Chelsea over a new long-term contract.

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Eden Hazard had posters of Zinedine Zidane and says Real Madrid move is a dream come true

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Eden Hazard

Eden Hazard hopes Chelsea fans understand why he is making his “dream” move to Real Madrid that could net the Blues an English record fee.

Hazard has signed a five-year contract to join Real in a deal that could rise as high as £150million once all bonus payments come into play.

The flat fee will hit £100m, with Chelsea happy to allow Hazard his big switch for that price given he had just one year left on his Stamford Bridge deal.

The 28-year-old Belgium captain grew up with posters of Real boss Zinedine Zidane on his bedroom wall, and insisted he would only have left Chelsea for Madrid.

“It’s no secret that it was my dream to play for them since I was a young boy just scoring my first goal,” said Hazard in a Facebook post.

“Now the clubs have reached an agreement I hope you understand I had to pursue my next chapter, just as each and every one of you should when you have the chance to pursue your dreams.

“Leaving Chelsea is the biggest and toughest decision in my career to date.

“I have loved every moment at Chelsea and not once did I ever consider, nor would I have left for, any other club.”

Hazard, who arrived at Stamford Bridge from Lille in 2012, leaves Chelsea having bagged six major trophies in seven years, with 110 goals in 352 appearances.

His final act in Chelsea blue was to score twice and assist once in the 4-1 Europa League final thrashing of Arsenal in Baku.

Hazard will double his wages to £400,000 in his five-year deal at Madrid, becoming the club’s second major signing of the summer after Frankfurt striker Luka Jovic.

“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,” said Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia.

“The memories he leaves us with will not fade. He provided all who watched Chelsea play with great entertainment and many match-winning contributions, and for that we thank Eden enormously.

“He has been a model professional throughout his time at the club, a wonderful individual to have around and a joy to work with.

“We look forward to welcoming him back to Stamford Bridge in the future.”

Real said Hazard would be presented at the Bernabeu on Thursday after undergoing a medical in Madrid.

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Eden Hazard expected to plug gap left by Cristiano Ronaldo after becoming Real Madrid's record buy

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Eden Hazard

Eden Hazard completed his long-awaited move from Chelsea to Real Madrid on Friday and could become the Spanish club’s most expensive signing in their history.

Real said Hazard, 28, had signed a five-year contract.

His contract at the Premier League club was due to expire next year but the Blues drove a hard bargain for the forward, who will reportedly cost Madrid an initial €100 million, with another €45 million in potential add-ons.

The full amount would trump the €101 million Madrid paid Tottenham for Gareth Bale and the €91 million they spent to sign Cristiano Ronaldo from Manchester United.

An unveiling at the Santiago Bernabeu is expected next week, once Hazard returns from international duty with Belgium, who play Euro 2020 qualifiers against Kazakhstan on Saturday and Scotland on Tuesday.

It means Madrid’s spending spree is picking up pace following the arrivals of defender Eder Militao and striker Luka Jovic from Porto and Eintracht Frankfurt respectively.

But Hazard is the gem Zinedine Zidane can build his new team around and brings the kind of stardust Madrid fans have craved ever since the sale of Ronaldo to Juventus last summer.

Ronaldo’s departure created a void up front that Madrid failed to fill last season, the team struggling for goals en route to finishing 19 points behind Barcelona in La Liga and crashing out to Ajax in the last 16 of the Champions League.

RonaldoAjaxJuventus (1)

Hazard, who scored 110 goals in seven seasons at Chelsea, will be expected to help plug the gap has long-been admired by Zidane and Madrid president Florentino Perez.

“We have wanted to sign Hazard for several years and I hope he will come this year,” Perez told Spanish radio station Onda Cero last month.

Less clear is where Hazard will fit into Zidane’s starting line-up. Assuming he plays in his favoured position on the left of a front three, it would mean displacing the 18-year-old Brazilian, Vinicius Junior, who enjoyed a brilliant breakthrough year last season.

Chelsea said the club had tried to persuade Hazard to stay.

“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,” Chelsea club director Marina Granovskaia said in a statement.

Bale doubt 

Hazard’s arrival also adds more uncertainty around the future of Gareth Bale, who has played both on the left and right of the attacking trio in recent months but is clearly not part of Zidane’s plans.

Madrid want to sell Bale to raise money for more signings, with French left-back Ferland Mendy the next player expected to arrive, from Lyon.

But the Wales international will not be forced out and has so far shown no interest in the handful of clubs that have shown interest. Neither Bale nor his agent Jonathan Barnett have spoken to the club since the end of the season.

0519 Gareth Bale

Hazard though would do well to match Bale’s record in Madrid as he looks to add to the trophies he won at Chelsea, which included two Premier League and two Europa League titles, as well as one FA Cup and one League Cup.

At the end of the 2014-15 season, in which Chelsea won the league, Hazard was awarded both the PFA Players’ Player of the Year and the Premier League Player of the Season. He was named in the PFA Premier League team of the year four times, in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2017.

If Madrid pay the full amount, Chelsea stand to make a profit of more than €100 million, having signed Hazard for close to €40 million from Lille in 2012.

Chelsea had just won the Champions League when Hazard chose them over several other clubs but they have failed to replicate the success in the competition. After reaching the semi-finals in 2014, Chelsea have not gone past the last 16 in the last five seasons.

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