Conte: Hazard to Barcelona? Possible only if…

Antonio Conte has not been shy about sharing his feelings on transfers this summer.

The Chelsea boss has managed to bring in Antonio Rudiger, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Alvaro Morata this summer for an estimated combined £125 million, but he isn’t even close to being satisfied.

After losing John Terry, Nemanja Matic and Nathaniel Chalobah – and Diego Costa seems like he isn’t coming back – Chelsea hasn’t added the numbers they need to their squad to compensate for the added rigours of the Champions League this season.

And now the Italian has another problem.

The Sun revealed last Thursday that Spanish giants Barcelona held an interest in bringing Eden Hazard to the club as a replacement for new Paris Saint-Germain man, Neymar.

Although the Catalan side have been linked with Ousmane Dembele, Hazard is a better fit to come in and play on the left-hand side of a three-man attack.

Rumours suggest that a £100 million bid is imminent and, worrying for Chelsea fans, Conte does not sound too confident about keeping their star player.

Blues boss Conte admitted: “You know well that I have great consideration for Hazard because he is a really top player. But I repeat I’m the coach and can give my opinion – but the final decision is always the club’s.”

But Conte said: “I expect Eden to play with Chelsea. Don’t forget that we are trying to improve our squad.”

Conte’s words suggest that he believes the club may sell Hazard over his head if the money is right. One has to imagine that if Chelsea did not want to sell, they are not in a position where they have to at all.

When it comes to recruitment, he added: “Now is not the right moment for us to spend such a lot of money for one player because we need a lot of players.”

Chelsea have been linked with Leicester City midfielder Danny Drinkwater in recent days and Sky Sports seem to think the interest from Conte is very real.

How Chelsea fans would feel about Hazard departing and Drinkwater arriving remains to be seen.