Eden Hazard linked with farcical Chelsea swap deal involving Reece James

It’s yet another tedious international break, the transfer rumour mill has never been quieter and *checks notes* Chelsea haven’t been linked with a sensational return swoop for Eden Hazard for at least, ooh, six months.

So rather than allow that barren run to continue, the media in Spain have conjured up the speculation we’ve all been waiting for – and boy is it a good story we’ve got on our hands.

That’s right, Hazard’s dream 2021 Chelsea return – is on!

Okay, it really isn’t on, but why let that get in the way of a good headline, eh?

El Nacional are the publication we need to thank for this latest ‘Hazard is coming back to England’ link, and they lead with the line that Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is ‘increasingly convinced’ that were the Belgian to return to Stamford Bridge he would immediately become a world beater again.

The reasons offered for Abramovich thinking that? There aren’t any, sadly.

The report also references speculation in England suggesting talks, albeit informal ones, have already begun with Real Madrid president Florentino Perez over a return to London for Hazard – adding that the 30-year-old is ‘fed up with his bad experience’ in the Spanish capital.

Still with us? Great.

It’s then noted that Real Madrid have accepted their €100m investment – rising to €145m should all add-ons and bonuses be triggered – was a bit of a ‘horrific mistake’, further stating there is now an active willingness from the club to recoup anything that they can.

Unsourced reports in the British media are then referred to, hinting that Chelsea would cap any spending on Hazard to around the €40m mark – and even that’s unbelievably hard to believe.

There is, however, an even stranger twist in this fanatical transfer tale, and it involves wing-back and future England regular Reece James.

There’s a hilarious suggestion that the 21-year-old – with the world at his feet and years of growth and potential ahead of him – could be swapped out for 30-year-old Hazard, who has literally none of that in his footballing future.

Madrid want to replace Dani Carvajal – another player who loves an injury – and who better than James, a player who clearly has all the tools to succeed at the highest level. Smart business for Real, sure, but for Chelsea? Goodness, can you imagine.

Then remind yourself that Chelsea have Christian Pulisic, Timo Werner, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Mason Mount, Hakim Ziyech and Kai Havertz more than capable of operating in Hazard’s probable position and, well, shall we call that a wrap?

Probably for the best.

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