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Hazard Can Leave Real Madrid If He Wants – Ancelotti

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The Belgium veteran has endured a difficult time at the Santiago Bernabeu and is frozen out of first-choice selection

Carlo Ancelotti has indicated that he would be happy for Eden Hazard to leave Real Madrid in the new year, with the manager claiming that he has never kept a player at a club against their will.

The Belgium veteran has endured a difficult near-two-and-a-half-year spell at the Santiago Bernabeu since moving from Chelsea, pockmarked by injury and poor form.

Now, with his place in the starting line-up relinquished to Vinicius Junior, the unhappy attacker has been linked with a January exit – and his manager has suggested he is free to leave if he wants.

What has been said?

“Never in my career as a coach have I forced a player to stay when they want to leave,” Ancelotti stated on Friday. “In my own personal opinion I don’t have any doubts about that.”

Asked on Vinicius, who is tipped to keep Hazard on the bench once more for this weekend’s clash against Elche in La Liga, the coach added that he did not believe he was pushing the starlet.

“I don’t think so,” he stated. “He’s fine, he’s young and recovers better than others. If he has a problem or suffers a drop in form then we can rest him. But right now we are very happy with him.”

Hazard faces unclear future

Having joined Madrid in a big-money move from Chelsea in 2019, it has been a frustrating two full seasons in the Spanish capital so far for the 30-year-old.

Though he was a member of the squad that claimed the crown in La Liga in his first term, he was restricted to just 16 top-flight games through injury, scoring only once.

He managed only 14 matches the subsequent campaign, as Madrid finished the 2020-21 season empty-handed and the arrival of Ancelotti has seen him pressed further to the fringes in a sense.

The bigger picture

Hazard’s plight was only highlighted further when he made a final act cameo off the bench to replace Vinicius in Madrid’s 2-1 win over Elche in La Liga on Saturday.Article continues below

With a handful of minutes once more, he will continue to mull over the viability of finding a new club elsewhere – albeit one willing to match his wage demands and take a risk on his injury record.

Madrid meanwhile now turn to Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League, as Los Blancos look to build upon last season’s semi-final finish to establish their European dominance once more.

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