Spanish giants Real Madrid are keen to sign Eden Hazard from Chelsea this summer and could be prepared to offer a stunning swap deal.
The Daily Mail, citing claims from Spanish outlet Marca, claim that the Belgian star has held ‘positive’ discussions with Zinedine Zidane’s side ahead of a potential move at the end of the season- with Los Blancos being long-term admirers of Chelsea’s attacking wizard.
However, Chelsea are keen to ensure they do not come out of a deal empty-handed and are looking to exploit the situation to land Colombian ace James Rodriguez in return- who’s set for an exit this summer after struggling to make a regular stake for first-team football over the last three-years.
A deal could end working out well for all parties but fans may be concerned about a potential swap deal, as they’ll question whether James would fill the void left by Hazard.
How to they compare?
Hazard has played significantly more football to James this season, with Squawka showing the Belgian has played 2155 minutes compared to James’ 683, but there has been enough in the Colombian’s performance to suggest he’d be a decent asset to Chelsea’s ranks.
James boasts 87% passing accuracy this season, compared to Hazard’s 84%, and has contributed with five assists in 14 games- whilst Hazard boasts four assists in 24 matches. In front of goal though, Hazard has a significant advantage of 11 goals compared to James’ two.
All in all, James has been a direct part of seven goals in 14 appearances whilst Hazard has been involved in 15 in 24 matches- meaning both have been impressive this season and it shows that James could be able to fill Hazard’s void.
Would James fit in?
Perhaps the most pressing concern would be whether James Rodriguez fits into Antonio Conte’s set-up at Stamford Bridge as, whilst capable of playing out wide, the South American asset is most effective playing just behind the striker.
In conte’s 3-4-3 set-up in West London, there isn’t really a central role where James could slot into the side and the Colombian would have to play out wide- where he’d slot into Hazard’s vacant position, should he seal a move to the Santiago Bernabeu.
Therefore, Chelsea may find it better to pursue an alternative target to James as they’d be able to get a quality wide-man with the figure they would receive for Hazard’s services and James himself would probably be better off moving elsewhere.