Chelsea’s Belgian duo of Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtouis have been given long holidays by the club. This could be a strategy by the club to prevent the departure of Hazard and Courtouis to Real Madrid as both players won’t be joining Chelsea before 5th August, 4 days before the closure of the transfer window. This means that any potential deal for the pair will be an eleventh hour rush-job and four days is certainly not enough to pull off one transfer of such magnitude let alone two.
Hazard and Courtouis have been in heavy demand lately and both have been strongly linked to Real Madrid. While Hazard could be a suitable replacement for Ronaldo, Courtouis could be Real’s first choice keeper over Keylor Navas. Both Hazard and Courtouis were exceptional in Belgium’s third place run at the recently concluded World Cup. Courtouis won the Golden Glove, beating out Jordan Pickford and Hugo Lloris while Hazard received the Silver Ball for being the second best player of the tournament.
Following Belgium’s 2-0 win over England, Hazard hinted that he would go to a new club, stating, “I spent six years with Chelsea, I played a fantastic World Cup and maybe it is time to change something. It is not my decision. The club will decide. Now I just want to go on holidays and we will see what happens.”
While Hazard and Courtouis will be on vacation, Maurizio Sarri and Chelsea would try to keep the pair at Stamford Bridge with new long-term deals. Chelsea are willing to offer Hazard a deal which would see him get paid a whopping £300,000 per week.