Prem side tempted Eden Hazard with return, but retirement would be ‘no surprise’ after refusal

Ciaran McCarthy
Eden Hazard, Real Madrid, April 2023
Eden Hazard frustrated during game for Real Madrid

Crystal Palace reportedly had “legit” interest in tempting Eden Hazard back to the Premier League in the summer, but his retirement would “not surprise” an insider after he refused the move.

Hazard’s career went off track after he made a £100million-plus move to Real Madrid in 2019. The winger had a fantastic career at Chelsea, working his way up to becoming one of the best and most talented players in Europe.

With the Blues, Hazard was directly involved in 202 goals in 352 games, while he also won the Premier League twice. But he failed to continue that good form with Real, reaching a highest total of just three goals in a season in Madrid.

After four very underwhelming seasons with the La Liga giants – though he wasn’t given a lot of chance of late – the Belgian left as a free agent, and is yet to move to another club, with the prospect of retirement a genuine one for the 32-year-old.

He did have the chance to move on, though, with Crystal Palace one club who attempted to bring him back to the Premier League. Their interest was reported in the summer, and has since been confirmed by insider Dean Jones.

“There have been some strong offers for him, even the Crystal Palace one for him to play again in the Premier League was a legit one, but the motivation for him to make a comeback does not seem to be there,” he told GIVEMESPORT.

Jones also suggested that it might be hard for Hazard to make a comeback, given he hardly played in his final season with Real, and has not been around a club since leaving.

“It’s been a long time since he was playing, he would have to work extremely hard to get back to top condition – meaning actually playing top level games could take a while,” Jones added.

“He’s a free agent so clubs that have shown interest have not closed the door, but this is a player that is very self assured, is not affected by outside noise or behaviours, and will make the decision completely on his own terms.”

Jones feels that Hazard’s lack of motivation to move to a new club at the moment suggests the prospect of retirement is growing.

“It would not surprise me if Hazard does now retire from football,” he said.

While it would be a shame to see a modern great hang up his boots, the last few seasons of his career have not gone to plan, and if he wants to call it a day, he still had a great peak before things went south.

READ MORE: Chelsea man’s career ‘could’ve been so much more’ as pundit questions summer exit destination