Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta has revealed that Eden Hazard had offers to remain in the Premier League. The Belgian international moved to Real Madrid this summer in a deal which could rise to as much as £150 million.

Azpilicueta told The Sun: “Honestly, the times that he had to cope with the rumours.

“He always showed his desire not to sign for an English team, even if he could have better contracts.

“He has never been a selfish person.

“He always had this dream to play for Real Madrid and we will see what happens.

“But I think he has been very honest until the last day.”

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Losing Hazard was a big blow for the Blues

There is no doubting that the loss of Hazard was a big blow for the Blues. He was one of their best players during the past several years. The club would have also been hoping to keep hold of him ahead of next season due to the transfer ban. The two window transfer ban means that Chelsea will not be able to sign a direct replacement for the left-winger this summer. Instead, they will have to work with what they currently have.

Very few people can really fault Hazard for choosing to leave Stamford Bridge. He contributed a lot to the club for the best part of a decade and has helped the club to win virtually everything on offer apart from the Champions League. The Blues last won the Champions League in 2012 which came just prior to Hazard’s arrival and they do not look like they will be winning Europe’s Premier Club competition anytime during the near-future. At 28, Hazard is now at the peak of his career.

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He will not get any better at this stage of his career and will start approaching the latter end of his career in about two years. By joining Madrid, he is playing under Zinedine Zidane who is a Champions League specialist, having led Los Blancos to the title during three consecutive seasons.

Had Hazard joined another Premier League club, his reputation at Stamford Bridge would have been tarnished. It would have been similar to the reception which Ashley Cole got when he swapped Arsenal for Chelsea and to the reception that Raheem Sterling got when he swapped Liverpool for Manchester City.