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Chelsea’s past £208m ‘secret transfer’ gives spotlight over Eden Hazard potential return

Having a world-class player in your team such as Eden Hazard is one thing, but to add Lionel Messi into the mix? Chelsea would have dominated Europe for years.

The Messi to Chelsea transfer that never was.

Savenet.one reports that Messi was very close to signing with the blues back in 2014 for £208m. Jose Mourinho was ready to start the second season of his second stint at Chelsea as the news came in. Messi wanted the move to the Bridge. It didn’t take long for agents and managers to get involved and snatch the opportunity away from us.

According to Sky Sports’ Gianluca Di Marzio, Roman Abramovich agreed to give Messi an annual wage of £46.7million plus 70% on image rights.

Messi, one of the greatest footballers of all time, now finds himself at Paris St. Germain whilst Hazard continues his journey at Real Madrid.

Both players haven’t had the dream start to their new journeys as they would have liked.

The question that I want to know the answer to is if given the chance, would Chelsea fans sign Messi or Hazard today? Here’s what we think followed by a poll taken by 3,000+ Chelsea fans yesterday.

Anita Abayomi – Lionel Messi

I love Hazard as much as any Chelsea fan in this world. Probably a bit more. His swagger on the ball is a reason why I enjoy watching football. Players like him, such as Ronaldinho and Neymar who are playful with their craft and keep the beauty within the game.

Hazard was Chelsea’s greatest talisman of the Roman Abramovich era, a little magician I would like to call him. But let’s be serious here, if Messi comes knocking you open that door and drag him in. Messi may not be a Chelsea legend, but in my eyes he is the great football of all time. How could you turn this down? Yes, both players are not in the best of form at the moment, but at least Messi is not struggling for fitness at the moment.

The truth is Hazard is having a hard time with injuries and that could prevent him from delivering those special moments that he used to deliver before. Messi is still more than capable of delivering those moments and that is why I would prefer to sign Messi over the Belgian if given the chance this transfer window.

Jake Stokes – Eden Hazard

I’d rather Chelsea sign Hazard over Messi from both a logical and emotional point of view – it’d be like welcoming a king back from war.

He’s a player who not only lifts fans from seats but creates something out of nothing like Messi can, but Hazard is a creative force engaged for the entirety of a game.

Messi tends to drift out of games and strolls around the pitch. Yes, it is part of his game, and ‘strolling’ isn’t laziness but a tactical ploy. The Argentine just wouldn’t cut it in a Thomas Tuchel side.

It would be great to have Messi at Chelsea, but I worry that games will bypass him, despite the glimpses of magic he can produce in an instance.

Meanwhile, Hazard would be more in tune and operate on the same wavelength as everyone else – he would be part of the team, whereas, with Messi, it’d become him and the rest. We’ve seen that at PSG.

Hazard has just turned 31, whereas Messi is 35 in the summer, benefitting Chelsea more commercially if the Argentine was signed instead.

The Belgian’s injury record shouldn’t be an issue – he very rarely missed a game through injury when at Chelsea. Yes, he will be more susceptible now that he’s older and had picked up knocks along the way, but I think Cobham would keep him in shape.

Go sign Hazard, Marina!

Renuka Odedra – Eden Hazard 

I agree with Jake and would sign Hazard for that connection. I admire Lionel Messi like most football fans probably, but I don’t think he would be the best at Chelsea. He’s arguably come to the tail end of his career, but you could make the same case for Hazard.

If Hazard returned, I think the fact he’s played in the Premier League and knows what he can add to the Chelsea squad. I expect he would be motivated and pick up his fitness at a club that he feels connected to. In comparison, he’s not been played long periods at Real Madrid to feel that connection.

Knowing that we have someone like Hazard in our squad will be a huge boost to the squad. I genuinely do think he’s got one last flurry on the pitch, and you never know. It could be on the Stamford Bridge pitch where it all went right for him.

Scott Clayton – Lionel Messi

You all know this is a hard one to really pick between. Do you go with heart and say Hazard because of what he brought to the club in the past and how much I adore him or go with my football brain and accept Messi is the greatest footballer the world has ever seen so sadly Hazard has to lose.

As I write the sentence I already know I’ll get a response on social media with ‘Would you honestly take Messi over Hazard?’

Let’s keep it real, Chelsea sold Hazard at the perfect time.

Did it feel like it at the time after his sublime farewell performance in the Europa League final? No

But looking at how his career has gone since we sold. We would have all hated to be waiting month after month for his return clinging onto hope that he would come good. Imagine all the arguments on we should just wait for Hazard to return from injury than move on as a club.

I’ve watched football way too long to not get that answer Andy Gray asked us over ten years ago… ‘Can Messi do it on a cold rainy night in Stoke’?

With over 3,000 votes, 60% of the fans agreed with Renuka and Jake that Hazard is the better option.

At the end of the day, everyone has their opinion on who they would sign if given the opportunity. I ask you the same question, who would you take right now if given the opportunity? Follow us on social media for more polls like this one.

Let us know in the comments section who you would pick to sign for Chelsea right now… Lionel Messi or Eden Hazard?

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