Hazard’s future is dependent on Gareth Bale


Real Madrid’s pursuit of Eden Hazard this summer could depend on whether or not Gareth Bale leaves the club at the end of the season.

Zidane remains keen on signing the 27-year-old and could be given carte blanche to rebuild this summer, especially if he lands an unprecedented hat-trick of European Cups.

But even if he requests the player he wanted to sign last summer, Madrid could still only move for Hazard if they sell Bale who was again named on the bench on Wednesday night in Real Madrid’s disappointing 1-1 draw with Athletic Bilbao.

Bale’s relationship with Zidane has detoriated since he was left out of Real Madrid’s last-16 Champions League first leg against Paris Saint-Germain back in February. He did not start the second leg and suffered the same fate in the quarter-final first leg against Juventus.

He began the second leg at the Santiago Bernabeu but was taken off at half-time in Real Madrid’s 3-1 defeat.

It was expected that Zidane would put him back in the side for the weekend game against Malaga but he did not even travel. And he stayed on the bench on Wednesday night until there were just 20 minutes left.

Bale was the first off the pitch at the final whistle, disappearing straight down the tunnel as his team-mates headed for the centre-circle.

Because Madrid do not play this weekend the game, the Bilbao draw was their last before they face Bayern Munich in next week’s semi-final first leg.

Zidane’s line-up was seen as a rehearsal for next week so Bale looks set to miss out on another huge game. His attitude so far at Madrid has been not to entertain the idea of an early departure from his contract that runs until 2022 but his patience is being tried by his current situation.


There is still time for Bale to turn things around and play a part in what is left of Real Madrid’s European campaign. If he does then he will be more determined than ever to stay and fight for his place next season. That would place a further obstacle in the path of Hazard.

But if Bale’s destiny is elsewhere then Zidane will ask the club to do what they can to bring in Hazard.

If Madrid do move for Hazard they are unlikely to pay the €100million price tag mentioned when they showed interest in him before the turn of the year, when their season was in disarray and supporters were calling for a raft of new signings in 2018.

Madrid’s season has risen from the flames since with huge wins over PSG and Juventus taking them to the brink of a third straight Champions League final. The need for a complete overhaul of their squad has subsided and the form of Marco Asensio, Lucas Vazquez and Isco have lessened the need for attacking midfielders.

The perception of Hazard has changed too with his underwhelming displays against Barcelona in the Champions League and Chelsea’s disappointing season taking their toll on his standing in Spain.

Madrid’s priorities are for a new goalkeeper and a striker to replace Karim Benzema. That could leave Hazard watching Bale’s situation closely as he ponders his future beyond the end of this season.