‘I’ve never forced a player to stay’

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti has revealed that he would not stand in Eden Hazard’s way if he wanted to leave the club.

Hazard, 30, has had a rough time since joining the Spanish giants from Chelsea for £89m in 2019, and coach Ancelotti has hinted that the Belgian would be free to leave if he wanted.

Hazard has yet to score for Real Madrid this season, and has made nine appearances in all competitions


Hazard has yet to score for Real Madrid this season, and has made nine appearances in all competitionscredit: Getty

Speaking yesterday, Ancelotti said: “I’ve never forced a player in my coaching career to stay when he wants to leave,” in what appeared to be a reference to speculation linking Hazard with a move away from Madrid.

The former Chelsea winger has scored just four games for Los Blancos in 11 league games so far this season, trailing the likes of Rodrygo and Vinicius Jr in the standings.

Ancelotti determined the fate of the Belgium captain recently when he said: “Hazard is ready, but his problem now is that he has a coach who prefers other players, which can happen in a team like this.”

With Hazard on the verge of playing a minor role in Ancelotti’s squad, a move away couldn’t have been more likely, with both Newcastle and former club Chelsea reportedly interested.

Hazard’s time at Madrid was hampered by injury, which saw him tally to just four goals in 38 league games in more than two seasons at the Bernabeu.

The Spanish club is believed to be keen to compensate for at least £40m for Hazard, more than Chelsea are willing to pay to re-sign him, unless they offer a player in return.

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Los Blancos are said to be keeping an eye on England right-back Rhys James, and could ask him to be included in a potential swap deal with Hazard.

Newcastle are said to be given a transfer cat of up to £200m in January by their new owners, with Paulo Fonseca in pole position to be appointed as the new chief of the Tunes.

And with Real Madrid keen to raise funds for Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe’s endeavours in the summer, they may be keen to strike a deal with Newcastle in January.

And with the Newcastle wealthy looking to reshape their squad, Hazard will be a prominent signature indicating their ambition to challenge for titles over the coming seasons.

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