Real Madrid

Carlo Ancelotti admits Eden Hazard is unhappy with lack of minutes

Tom Gott
Ancelotti has kept Hazard on the bench
Ancelotti has kept Hazard on the bench / Soccrates Images/GettyImages
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Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has confessed that Eden Hazard is unhappy with his limited role at the club this season.

The 30-year-old has featured in ten games in all competitions, but just half of them have been starts and Ancelotti has made no secret of the fact that he prefers young Vinicius Junior, who has nine goals and seven assists in his 15 outings this year.

Hazard is, however, expected to see a decent amount of minutes in Saturday's meeting with Rayo Vallecano, before which Ancelotti admitted that the Belgian is struggling to accept his bit-part role at the Santiago Bernabeu.

“He is not happy because he is a player who has quality, who is training well, is serious and deserves to have minutes for what he is doing and he will have them if he continues like this," Ancelotti said (via the club's official website). "The important thing is that he is switched on.

"As I said, I am sorry because it is quite easy to put a player on the bench who is not a professional in training, but he is very professional and he will have minutes. I said there will be minutes. At first I have to think about it. I have a day to think about the lineup.

“In a 4-3-3, Hazard can play on the left. He has always played there. We have to see if he can also play on the right. Sometimes in this position I think he can also play."

Hazard's limited starts have generated plenty of transfer rumours, with Chelsea and Newcastle United unconvincingly tipped to be plotting moves, but Hazard himself is not interested in leaving the club in January.

Real don't want to lose him either as they look to mount a push for the La Liga title, but the story is expected to be different in the summer.

The plan is to bring in big, expensive names like Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland, for whom space in the squad will have to be made, and those in charge at Real are prepared to try to offload Hazard and his high salary.

He remains under contract until 2024 but Real want out of his deal early, although whether they will find any buyers is a different matter.

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