Chelsea transfer ban sparks Hazard fears
Chelsea have been hit with a two-window transfer ban for breaking rules over the signing of minors, in a fresh blow that has pushed star player Eden Hazard closer to the exit.
The fact Chelsea have confirmed they will appeal against the ban, potentially delaying it for up to a year, means the club will be under greater pressure to sell the Beglium star this summer, to reinvest the funds, before his contract expires next year. Chelsea cannot risk Hazard leaving on a free transfer in the summer of 2020, when they could be under transfer embargo and unable to sign a replacement.
They will also need to bring in substantial sums if they are to spend heavily this summer in preparation for being banned from making any signings - and they value 28-year-old Hazard upwards of £100m.
Fifa's ruling has no bearing on the arrival of Christian Pulisic from Borussia Dortmund this summer, while Chelsea could still extend striker Gonzalo Higuain's loan or sign him permanently.
Chelsea have been found guilty of 29 breaches of rules regarding the signing of players aged under 18, with Fifa fining them £460,000 and issuing a two-window transfer ban.