Chelsea don't have to surrender Eden Hazard to Real Madrid, say Sunday Supplement panel
Martin Samuel: "Chelsea's rivals are not Fulham or West Ham, it's Real Madrid."
By Oliver Yew
Last Updated: 12/08/18 5:06pm
Chelsea should have no interest in pleasing rivals Real Madrid by selling them Eden Hazard, according to the Sunday Supplement panel.
Reports in Sunday's national newspapers suggest Real Madrid are refusing to admit defeat in their £200m pursuit of Hazard, despite new Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri insisting the club will resist any offers for the Belgium international before the European transfer window closes.
Speaking on the Sunday Supplement, the Daily Mail's Martin Samuel thinks Chelsea are right to stand their ground on Hazard, saying the Premier League side do not have to solve Real Madrid's problems for them.
When asked if anyone can deny Hazard a move to Real in the future, he said: "I don't think it is Chelsea's business to make Real Madrid happy so yes they can [deny Hazard a move].
"They are rivals. Chelsea's rivals aren't Fulham or West Ham. Fulham might think Chelsea are their rivals but they are not anymore. Chelsea's rivals are Real Madrid.
"You don't solve Real Madrid's problems any more than you solve Manchester United's problems so it's not a case of can we deny him this dream move. Yes you can because it's not is your business interests to make Real Madrid happy."
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After the World Cup, Hazard, admitted he could leave Chelsea this summer, saying "it might be time to discover something different", while before the tournament he admitted he could be interested in a move to the Bernabeu.
Speaking after Belgium's 2-0 win over England, Hazard told Belgian outlet HLN: "After six wonderful years at Chelsea it might be time to discover something different. Certainly after this World Cup. I can decide if I want to stay or go, but Chelsea will make the final decision - if they want to let me go. You know my preferred destination."
The Daily Telegraph's chief football writer Sam Wallace thinks Chelsea are right to stand their ground over Hazard, saying Real have no divine right to sign all the world's best players.
Speaking on Sunday Supplement, he said: "You are buying into this notion that every great player must end up at Real Madrid. Why? That's what Real Madrid would like you to think but everyone else doesn't have to believe that.
"There's 25 other top clubs across Europe, who all think they are the greatest club ever. Bayern Munich think they are the greatest club that has ever existed. Manchester United certainly do and I dare say Liverpool do as well.
"There's this notion that for some reason Real are the highest honour and maybe it is for some people. Everyone has the club that they see as the peak of football and for lots of people that's different. Real Madrid have done a great job in the 21st century of making most people believe that the inevitable path for every footballer is to end up playing for Real Madrid.
"You don't have to buy into that narrative and what's quite interesting about Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia, who is a new kind of football executive, is that she doesn't believe it either. You are entitled to believe that and as Arsene Wenger would say everyone believes they have the most beautiful wife at home."
Finally, Evening Standard sports reporter Vaishali Bhardwaj thinks Chelsea's bid to keep Hazard has been aided by the fact Zinedine Zidane left Real Madrid this summer, but she does expect the Belgium international to eventually leave for the Bernabeu.
She said: "With Hazard, something that's helped him is that Zinedine Zidane has gone. I think his dream is to play at Real Madrid at some point but certainly he wanted to play under Zidane, who is his idol. The fact that Zidane has now gone has kind of helped Chelsea's cause a little bit.
"In the future though, I can actually see him going to Real Madrid. I think he might want that challenge, particularly if he doesn't win a Champions League at Chelsea."