Belgian coach wants Eden Hazard to swap Chelsea for Madrid
Eden Hazard's Belgium coach, Marc Wilmots, would welcome a move to Real Madrid for his star player over fears that he could suffer burnout at Chelsea under Jose Mourinho.
Mourinho warned Hazard he must work harder to be sure of a starting place in his team and Hazard took the advice on board in the Champions League draw against Dynamo Kiev, having started on the bench in the match against Aston Villa, which Chelsea won.
However, although Wilmots is unlikely to share his concern publicly, he is worried Hazard will be tired when the forward arrives for duty with the national team and could be worn out by Mourinho's demands by the time Belgium kick-off in the European Champion-ship finals next summer.
Sources close to Wilmots believe that, privately, he feels a move to Real would be good for Hazard and would allow the player more freedom and a lighter work schedule. Real hold a long-standing interest in Hazard, who is a favourite of Zinedine Zidane, the club's B team coach, and will be keeping a close eye on the forward's situation at Stamford Bridge.
Hazard, who was named Player of the Year last season, appeared to 'like' an Instagram post linking him with a move to Real this week, but there have been suggestions the post was edited without his knowledge. The early signs in Kiev were encouraging for Chelsea, as Hazard clearly redoubled his efforts as a result of Mourinho's warning and produced one of his best displays of the season.
Wilmots does not think Hazard, 24, needs to change his style of play for Belgium, saying: "Against Israel, Eden did an extraordinary job. Eden performs for the national team. He scored four goals in four games, he's my vice-captain and he loves to play for his national team."
Asked about his Chelsea team-mate's response to being dropped and then recalled, the midfielder Nemanja Matic said: "What I can say about him is that Eden is a great guy, a great player, the best player in the league last year, very important for us.
"For the rest, you'd have to ask the coach. I am very happy when I play with him. It's very simple, you pass him the ball and he always does something. Eden is one of the best players in the world." (© Daily Telegraph, London)