Hazard pay: Chelsea set for laughable £5m windfall thanks to silly Real Madrid transfer clause

Steven Chicken
Eden Hazard in his Chelsea days
Eden Hazard somehow continues to be good for Chelsea and Real Madrid

Eden Hazard hasn’t played a competitive game for just over a year and formally announced his retirement last October – yet Chelsea are set to receive an extra £5m from Real Madrid this summer in what we can only assume is the most technical of technicalities.

The former Belgium international left Stamford Bridge to head to Spain in 2019 but was never able to replicate the scintillating form he had shown at Chelsea, leading Real to agree to a mutual termination of Hazard’s contract one year early last year.

Eden Hazard ‘earns’ Chelsea transfer bonus despite being retired

But it seems that even though Hazard left the club and subsequently hung up his boots, the performance-related clauses in the deal Real Madrid agreed with Chelsea remained in effect into this season. Always read the fine print, everyone.

One of those clauses, according to ESPN’s unidentified sources, was that Real Madrid would pay Chelsea an additional £5m for reaching this year’s Champions League final.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side will be vying be crowned European champions for the 15th time in the club’s history when they take on Borussia Dortmund at Wembley on 1st June.

The initial deal that took Hazard to Real Madrid was worth up to a reported £130m including these kinds of add-ons.

Hazard was considered a major flop at the Bernabeu, however, with seven goals and 12 assists in 76 appearances over four years a very poor return on their nine-figure investment in the winger.

Nonetheless, that outstanding clause gives Chelsea a nice little boost to their coffers for the summer transfer window as they try to stay in line with Premier League financial fair play rules.

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So too does their rapid ascent from mid-table into contention for European contention this month: Mauricio Pochettino’s side have hit a new seasonal high of sixth place thanks to an improved run of late-season form.

That’s enough for at least a Conference League place as long as they don’t let Newcastle overtake them on the final day of the Premier League season – and could even be upgraded to a Europa League place if Manchester City were to win the FA Cup later this month.

There’s even a very outside chance that Mauricio Pochettino’s side wouldn’t need to rely on the cup to gain that upgrade, either.

If they beat Bournemouth on the final day and Tottenham Hotspur somehow simultaneously slump to an outrageous defeat to a thoroughly dreadful Sheffield United side, Chelsea would overtake Spurs to finish fifth and claim the Europa League place for themselves, the cheeky gets.