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Eden Hazard hints that Real Madrid move was set up in secret meeting with Florentino Perez in 2018

Eden Hazard

The Belgium international moved to the Santiago Bernabeu in June, joining the Spanish giants from Chelsea in a deal worth £88.5m.

Hazard dropped several hints throughout last season that he wanted to sign for Madrid, with the deal eventually going through just before the forward entered the final year of his contract at Stamford Bridge.

There had been heavy speculation that Hazard would join Los Blancos after the 2018 World Cup, but he ultimately opted to spend one more season in west London.

However, the former Lille winger has now revealed that he spoke to Madrid president Florentino Perez, as well as former Chelsea team-mate Thibaut Courtois, about potentially joining the club a year before the transfer went through.

“Courtois is someone I know well and in which I trust,” he told Real Madrid TV. “He always told me this was the best club.

“I spoke to Florentino and he told me that he expected to see me in Madrid. After I spoke with Luka Modric and I felt that everyone wanted to see me at Real Madrid.

“I’d already made my mind up after the World Cup and I said to myself: ‘I have to join Real Madrid now’.

“That wasn’t possible and I spent another year at Chelsea, and that made my departure easier. The club understood and allowed me to leave.”

Hazard was a major success at Chelsea, winning two Premier League titles, two Europa Leagues, an FA Cup and a League Cup during his seven years at the club.

He has had a slow start to his Madrid career, however, scoring only one goal in seven appearances in all competitions.

Zinedine Zidane’s side return to action in La Liga on Wednesday, when Leganes visit the Bernabeu.

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