Spanish giants Real Madrid have announced the blockbuster signing of Belgian superstar Eden Hazard from Chelsea for a transfer fee which could surpass £150m.
The Belgian playmaker has signed a six-year contract with the club and will be unveiled in Real Madrid white on Thursday, subject to a medical. The news has put an end to a transfer saga which has been going on since months.
Eden Hazard all but confirmed his departure from Chelsea after the Europa League final last month. “I think it’s a goodbye, but in football you never know. My dream was to play in the Premier League, I did this for seven years for one of the biggest clubs in the world. So now maybe it’s time for a new challenge”, he said.
Hazard has had seven illustrious years at Chelsea, scoring 110 goals in 352 games for the London club since his arrival from Lille back in 2012. This season also saw the Belgian winning the PFA Fans’ Player of the Year and the Premier League Playmaker of the Year award for his 31 goal contributions in 37 appearances in the English top-flight.
Eden Hazard ended his trophy-laden Chelsea career with a memorable brace in the Europa League final win over Arsenal, which coincidentally was the first trophy he won with the club. The 28-year old has also won two Premier League titles with Chelsea, along with an FA Cup and League Cup each.
Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia has paid tribute to the Belgian. “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”, she said.
“He has been a model professional throughout his time at the club, a wonderful individual to have around and a joy to work with. 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”, she added.
Eden Hazard has penned an emotional open letter to the fans recalling his favourite memories with the club and also revealing his “dream” to play for Real Madrid.
“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”, he writes.
“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.”
Eden Hazard becomes Real Madrid’s most expensive signing in a deal which exceeds £150 million. Los Blancos will play an initial amount of £89 million for the midfielder and will get another £60 million more as significant add-ons and bonuses.
The Belgian becomes Real Madrid’s second signing of the week after Eintracht Frankfurt striker Luka Jovic was signed for €60 million on Tuesday. The 13-time Champions League winners mean serious business in this summer’s transfer window as they also look to sign Lyon left-back Ferland Mendy and Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Christian Eriksen in the coming weeks.