Real Madrid

Carlo Ancelotti provides update on Eden Hazard's Real Madrid future

Tom Gott
Hazard has struggled for minutes at Real Madrid
Hazard has struggled for minutes at Real Madrid / Soccrates Images/GettyImages

Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed that he would not stand in Eden Hazard's way if the Belgian asked to leave the Santiago Bernabeu.

Hazard has made eight La Liga appearances so far, but just four of those have come as starts, with Ancelotti preferring to go with young Vinicius Junior in Hazard's position - a choice which has been justified by a return of seven goals and five assists in 13 appearances for the Brazilian this year.

"The problem he has is that at the moment there is a coach who prefers another player, but this can happen in a squad like Real Madrid," Ancelotti said recently (via AS).

Those comments have prompted a wave of speculation surrounding Hazard's future. Real have long been tipped to cut ties with the high-earning winger, and Ancelotti has now admitted he would not stop Hazard from leaving if he wanted to.

"It is clear that we have to take into account the thinking of each player," Ancelotti said. "Never in my professional coaching career have I forced a player who wants to leave to stay. If a player wants to leave, he has to leave. In my personal opinion there is no doubt in this."

That comes in the aftermath of a report from ESPN, in which it is claimed that a handful of Premier League sides, including Chelsea and Newcastle United have been sounded out over their interest in signing Hazard.

It's worth noting that the article first shipped with a headline suggesting those two sides were keen on a deal, but it has now been edited to reflect the stance that neither have confirmed interest and have simply been spoken to about a move.

Real are looking to raise money to fund a summer spending spree which is expected to be headlined by Kylian Mbappe and could well feature Erling Haaland, Paul Pogba and Antonio Rudiger as well.

For that reason, preliminary talks have been held over a potential exit for Hazard, but it is unclear whether any sides are interested or even whether the 30-year-old is prepared to call time on his Real career.