Paris St Germain claim they could have signed Eden Hazard in 2012, but decided against it as they didn’t want to damage their relationship with Chelsea.
The Belgian international is currently enjoying perhaps the best season of his career to date, as he plays a key role in Chelsea’s quest to win the Premier League, UEFA Champions League and FA Cup treble. Hazard has scored 10 goals and assisted eight more in all competitions, and is already a leading contender for Player of the Year.
Jose Mourinho is of the opinion that the 23-year-old can reach the same levels as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in the future, and the former Lille man himself admits he has ambitions of such. Under contract at Stamford Bridge until 2017, the Blues will hope the player remains on their payroll when he does reach his peak.
But according to Nasser Al-Khelaifi, it could have been a different story altogether. The PSG president has claimed that his club had the chance to sign Hazard in the summer of 2012, before he completed his £32million move to Chelsea. However, the reason they declined the opportunity was because the English club were already deep in negotiations.
“Eden Hazard is an amazing player and, in my opinion, the best player of Chelsea. But we never talked with him,” he told L’Equipe. “In 2012, before he left for England, we had the opportunity to sign him, but we did not. Chelsea were in an advanced stage of negotiation and, as we don’t want to have any bad relationship with any club, we stopped there.”
Whilst Hazard will still have another three years left on his deal after this season, his ambition to match the likes of Messi and Ronaldo could make the Blues somewhat nervous. The Portuguese ace, for example, felt he had to leave Manchester United to take his career onto the next stage, and eventually joined Real Madrid for £80million.
Although Hazard earns huge money and is challenging for the top honours during his time at Stamford Bridge, there is always the fear that he too could decide to follow Ronaldo and test his quality for a club such as Real. Should this be the case, though, at least Chelsea know they would make a handsome profit on the £32million they paid for him.