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Chelsea has entered talks with German club Borussia Mönchengladbach for the permanent transfer of Thorgan Hazard to the Bundesliga, according to the latter club’s sporting director, Max Eberl. Hazard, who is the younger brother of Chelsea and Belgium international Eden, has yet to appear for the Blues’ first-team, having joined from RC Lens in 2012.
The player, who can can play as both a winger and attacking midfielder, enjoyed a successful campaign at Zulte Waregem last season and was one of a handful of Chelsea youngsters who secured loan moves to Germany during the summer transfer window. Lucas Piazon (Eintracht Frankfurt), Tomas Kalas (Cologne) and Oriol Romeu (Stuttgart) have all left Stamford Bridge on loan deals.
Hazard’s role in the Mönchengladbach side has become more prominent and so the German outfit wants to make the player a permanent fixture in its side. Eberl told German title, Kicker, that the two clubs concerned had “a nice talk” and negotiations were moving along at a good pace.
If Hazard was allowed to leave on a permanent deal, it would come as a surprise due to the fact the Chelsea has been investing heavily in its youth system in a bid to satisfy financial fair play. The 21-year-old is contracted to the Stamford Bridge club until 2016.
It is also indicative of the quality available to manager José, whose side currently sits at the top of the Premier League, three points ahead of Manchester City, winner of last season’s title. Mourinho also allowed Frank Lampard to leave the club for MLS side New York City, although the Englishman is currently on loan at the Etihad Stadium.
Hazard, like his older brother, has been tipped for greatness. However, such is the embarrassment of riches at Mourinho’s disposal, the player knows he could wait a number of years before being given a proper run in the team. If he spends time away at a smaller yet well-established European side, he could always move back to an elite club. Furthermore, the fact Hazard has helped lift Mönchengladbach into a top four spot – in with a chance of Champions League qualification – will mean his place in the team is all but assured.
If Hazard has any real desire of breaking into the Chelsea side, he will have to dislodge his brother, Cesc Fàbregas, André Schürrle and Oscar – all of whom either play in midfield or on the wing. Although he will learn a lot from these players on the training ground, he knows getting regular football in a top European league will be even better for him. Right now it looks likes a like a permanent transfer to the Bundesliga is the best option for the young Belgian. If talks progress the way both clubs hope, Hazard should be turning out as a registered Mönchengladbach player come the January transfer window. Germany has the longest winter break of the European leagues – the Premier League does not have one – and so either way he will not turn out again for the German club until the end of January.
Commentary by Robert Shepherd