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Should Chelsea turn to Serie A giants for Hazard replacement?

| 15.02.2016

Their 5-1 demolition of Newcastle may have reminded us that Chelsea maintain their star quality, but questions still remain surrounding some of the Blues’ prime assets.

Eden Hazard has been linked with a move away from the club, with the likes of Real Madrid and Tuesday’s opponents PSG the reported suitors.

The Belgian’s latest words won’t have many fans of the west London club filled with much confidence of keeping the 25-year-old.

“It is hard to say no to PSG, as with all teams capable of winning the Champions League,” he told Le Parisien.

“Now, PSG are part of this category. For me, winning the Champions League is the main objective.”

A potential summer move would leave the Pensioners on the search for a replacement to the man who racked up 19 goals in all competitions last season, yet has managed just one this time round.

Napoli’s Gonzalo Higuain has been long linked with a move to Stamford Bridge as a potential successor to Diego Costa at the head of the Blues’ attack, and it could be that one of his team-mates would be the perfect man to cover the loss of Hazard.

Gli Azzurri captain Marek Hamsik has remained loyal to the Naples club despite plenty of interest in the past, but the potential for a Serie A triumph this term could see him consider his job done at Stadio San Paolo.

The Slovakian would bolster the Chelsea midfield with the potential addition for goals and assists aplenty, something that Hazard has failed to produce this year.

Seven goals and 10 assists last season have been followed up with five strikes and the final pass in six league goals in 2015-16.

Defeat to Juventus last week saw Maurizio Sarri’s men relinquish top-spot in the table, but they remain well in the hunt for a third Serie A title success.

Take the trophy and Hamsik could well be more open to leaving the club that he has made 387 appearances for in nine years.

The former Brescia man has spoken about how a move to a more traditional central midfield position has helped him flourish this term, but he remains more than capable of filling in in an advanced role.

The spiky-haired 28-year-old is contracted until June 2018 and valued at £26m, so any move for him won’t come cheap but with Hazard’s move likely to bring in around £40m, it could be a good bit of business.

A creative player with an eye for a killer pass, Hamsik could breathe some fresh life into a Chelsea outfit that has lacked a spark at times this season.

If the deal for Higuain comes off, Roman Abramovich could do far worse than going for a Napoli double swoop and bringing the playmaker to the capital along with him.



Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.