Real Madrid goalkeeper and former Chelsea star Thibaut Courtois has once again suggested Los Blancos should sign Eden Hazard, saying it would be "nice" to see the forward follow him to the Spanish capital.
HLN's Kristof Terreur shared the comments the stopper made to Belgian television channel VTM, noting Blues fans wouldn't be happy to hear them:
Snake comments incoming.🐍— Kristof Terreur 📰🎥 (@HLNinEngeland) February 14, 2019
Thibaut Courtois to @vtmnieuws: “It would be nice (that Eden Hazard would join Real), but I can’t say too much about it. That’s something he has to decide himself. And Real - I don’t know if they want him. Eden is a top player and my friend.” #cfc pic.twitter.com/Tz8lauIEjb
The latest hint came less than two weeks after Courtois gave an interview to Het Nieuwsblad (h/t Dom Farrell of Goal) in which he said he would prefer Real sign Hazard over Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar, emphasising how much he likes him.
Hazard himself has said he's a fan of Los Blancos:
Eden Hazard on RMC: "I have always liked Real Madrid as a club, with or without Zidane. At the end of this year I have 1 year left on my Chelsea contract. We will see, it'll be up to me to make the decision."— Get French Football News (@GFFN) December 10, 2018
According to the Daily Telegraph's Matt Law in early February, the 28-year-old has already decided his future lies in Spain and is hoping for a summer move.
Hazard and Courtois play together for the Belgian national team and were Chelsea team-mates until last summer, when the latter returned to Spain. His departure from Stamford Bridge did not go down well with the fans, as noted by Sky Sports' Michael Kelleher.
The 26-year-old goalkeeper previously played for Real's rivals Atletico Madrid, and their fans also now aren't too fond of the Belgian:
Atletico fans vandalise Thibaut Courtois plaque with 'RATA' graffiti ahead of Madrid derby https://t.co/yglFIVaAzT— Standard Sport (@standardsport) February 9, 2019
Hazard's contract will have just one year left on it in the summer, and unless he signs a new deal before the end of the season, the upcoming transfer window will mark a key moment in his career.
He's been with the Blues since 2012, winning two Premier League titles and the UEFA Europa League. He's yet to make a major impact in the UEFA Champions League, a competition Real have excelled in with four titles in the last five years.
At the age of 28, Hazard is in his prime, making this the perfect time to either sign a lucrative long-term contract extension or move to one of the world's biggest clubs. Real's attack has had its fair share of struggles since Cristiano Ronaldo left for Juventus last summer, and the Spaniards are expected to spend big to fix it.
Chelsea cashed in on Courtois rather than losing him for free when his contract expired a year later. If Hazard makes it clear he wishes to leave, they'll likely take the same approach again.