Chelsea and Belgian international winger Eden Hazard can almost put transfer talks behind him, at least for this summer.
The 27-year-old has reportedly been linked to Spanish superclub Real Marid for most of the summer transfer window, which officially ends on Aug. 31 for teams outside of England’s Premier League, which includes Chelsea.
While Premier League clubs can sell players until Friday, they have been unable to bring on new ones since Aug. 9 after owners voted to move the window up.
Rather remarkably, Chelsea has been able to retain most of its nucleus through a summer of change. Maurizio Sarri, former Napoli boss, took over for the fired Antonio Conte over the summer while rumors swirled about the possible departures of Hazard, fellow winger Willian and goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.
While Sarri lost Courtois to Real Madrid, he’s been able to retain both Hazard and Willian, the latter receiving most interest from Barcelona.
With four days to go until the closing of the transfer window across Europe, Sarri seems more than confident that Hazard isn’t going anywhere.
“I think Eden will stay with us for all of the season,” Sarri said prior to Chelsea’ 2-1 victory over Newcastle United on Sunday (h/t Sky Sports).
All season includes retaining him through the January transfer window.
Hazard recorded his first goal of the season, a penalty to open the scoring in a match where Chelsea monopolized 82-percent of possession. The Blues have won all three of their opening matches and trail only Liverpool on goal difference.
Why does Real Madrid want Eden Hazard?
As one of the most talented play-making wingers in the world, Hazard was linked to Madrid as a replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo, who shocked the soccer world by signing with Italian giants Juventus in July.
The three-time defending Champions League winners have had some tough luck this summer as they have lost out on some notable transfer targets like Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah, Tottenham’s Harry Kane, and PSG’s Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani.
Things have gone well enough for Real Madrid so far this season though as its taken all six points from its first two matches of the La Liga season, sitting in first on goal difference ahead of Barcelona.